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Mariah Carey: My first marriage was almost like being a prisoner

Mariah Carey has been through a lot over her storied career, but things weren’t always glamorous behind the scenes.

In a recent cover story for Cosmopolitan, the veteran singer discussed a range of topics, including her mixed-race identity, her beginnings in the music industry and the impact she’s had on pop music across her three-decade career.

During one portion of the interview, she recalled her first marriage, which was to former Sony Music mogul Tommy Mottola, who is 20 years her senior. She described her relationship with Mottola as controlling, comparing her experiences to “being a prisoner.”

“You might want to picture a child bride,” she told the magazine. “There was a conscious effort to keep me as this all-American, whatever that means, girl. It was very controlled. There was no freedom for me as a human being. It was almost like being a prisoner.” According to the outlet, Mottola himself has since deemed his relationship with Carey as “wrong and inappropriate,” and the couple later broke up after eight years.