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Mariah Carey’s Ex Tommy Mottola Reveals Past Abuse in Memoir

Tommy Mottola and Mariah Carey
Diane Freed / Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

Today, Mariah Carey is one of pop’s most adorably daffy divas, as well as Nick Cannon‘s ostensibly happy wife and the mother of two of the world’s most pampered twins. But before she achieved true career security and domestic bliss, she spent a few years unhappily married to her former label boss, Tommy Mottola.

Carey has spoken openly in the years since the couple’s 1997 divorce about how she felt trapped in “a private hell” while married to the notoriously controlling Mottola, who took a heavy hand when managing a recording career that he insisted be focused heavily on slickly produced ballads — and kept her isolated in a posh New York mansion that she referred to as ‘Sing Sing,’ after the infamous prison. But Mottola has kept mum about his side of the story until now — and judging from his description of their relationship in his upcoming memoir, he probably should have kept quiet.

The new book, titled ‘Hitmaker: The Man and His Music,’ is due Jan. 29, and is mainly devoted to Mottola’s recollections of his meteoric rise from talent agent to one of the most powerful executives in the record industry. But Mottola’s reign as Sony Music chief was largely defined by the wild success the label enjoyed with Carey’s string of ’90s hits, and as he makes clear in the book, he always wanted their relationship to be more than professional.

As the New York Post recounts in its report on the memoir, Mottola’s single-minded pursuit of Carey included outbidding a rival label for her contract, insisting on reshoots for her first video, and finally wooing her romantically — over the advice of his own therapist and to the significant consternation of his wife and two children.

While Mottola does admit regret with regards to the pain his broken marriage caused his children — at one point, he discusses a wedding photo depicting his daughter clutching her brother and weeping unhappy tears — he still seems to be shrugging off the domineering behavior that caused Carey to file for divorce in 1997. “If it seemed like I was controlling, I apologize,” the Post quotes Mottola as saying in ‘Hitman.’ “Was I obsessive? Yes. But that was also part of the reason for her success.”

Next: What's Your Favorite Mariah Carey Song?

Watch the Mariah Carey ‘Someday’ Video

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