Pop singer Mariah Carey is receiving mental treatment, her publicist said Wednesday, clarifying that the "extreme exhaustion" which sent the 31-year-old singer to the hospital last week was in fact an "emotional and physical breakdown."
"She is under psychiatric care," her spokeswoman Cindi Berger told the Associated Press. Berger denied reports that Carey had attempted suicide, but admitted that "she did break some dishes and glasses, and she may have stepped on them."
Carey's breakdown comes at a critical point in her 11-year career. She signed a multimillion-dollar contract with Virgin Records in April after leaving Columbia Records, where she got her start after dating, and later marrying, Columbia executive Tommy Mottola. The couple are now divorced.
Carey's current single, "Loverboy," languished on the charts for weeks because of poor radio airplay. Once Virgin dropped the single's price to 49 cents, it leaped to the No. 2 position on this week's Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and is currently getting plenty of airplay.
Her feature-film debut, Glitter, opens later this month, with the singer both acting in the starring role of an aspiring pop singer and performing most of the songs from the soundtrack.
It's doubtful that Carey will be able to promote either the single or the movie. Berger could not say when she might be released from the undisclosed New York-area hospital where she has been receiving treatment.
"I'm taking it one day at a time, but right now she is resting and improving," said Berger.
Carey has canceled all scheduled public appearances, including a headlining slot at MTV's 20th anniversary party Wednesday night.
Just before her hospitalization, Carey left two despondent messages on her official Web site, complaining of being overworked and getting too little attention from her new record label. She said she wanted to close her management company and take a break, but Berger said nothing has changed and her management remains the same.
Last month, Carey made a surreal impromptu appearance on MTV's Total Request Live, dressed in little more than a lavender T-shirt and pushing an ice cream cart filled with popsicles for the teen audience. She also made a publicity appearance at a Long Island mall, where, after rambled comments to the crowd, her publicist took her microphone away to prevent Carey from speaking further.
Carey had been dating Latin singer Luis Miguel. Berger said Miguel had not visited Carey in the hospital, but has called her manager to express concern. She said the two had not "officially broken up."
Carey has sold tens of millions of albums and has numerous No. 1 hits, including "Fantasy," "Dream Lover," and "Always Be My Baby."
The Associated Press contributed to this report