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Mariah Carey’s Ex-Husband Tommy Mottola Put the ‘Control’ in ‘Control Freak’

Tommy Mottola Mariah Carey
Stephen Lovekin / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

According to Mariah Carey‘s controlling ex-hubby Tommy Mottola, he just wanted to make the singer a star and she should be thanking him for all her success because after all, he kept her in the prettiest prison ever.

So says his new memoir ‘Hitmaker,’ which proves the former Sony Music chief isn’t quite done making money off her yet.

After their 1997 divorce, Carey was very vocal about Mottola’s “emotionally abusive” ways — something he kinda sorta but not really apologizes for, writing, “If it seemed I was controlling, [I'm sorry]. Was I obsessive? Yes. But that was also part of the reason for her success.”

Translated: Emotional abuse is totally okay if it results in selling 15 million albums.

Carey was just 18 in 1988 when Mottola first heard her astounding demo, and he promised to make her the biggest pop star in the world — on one condition. She had to ditch her collaborator, who also happened to be her boyfriend at the time.

She did, and it wasn’t long before the married-with-two-kids Mottola embarked on an affair with his much younger protege (something even his therapist advised against). He helmed her wildly-successful self-titled 1990 debut album, and after a quickie divorce, the duo wed in 1993 in what one guest said was less a wedding than it was a “coronation.”

But even before their nuptials, there were hints he was a rather stern taskmaster. For example, Mariah wanted to take a break to enjoy her success when she was 21, but Mottola wouldn’t hear of it, saying, “My feeling was that there’d be plenty of time for [her] to celebrate just a little ways down the road.”

He also admitted that during their marriage, he made all her professional decisions and even confined the singer to their mansion in New York — a property Mariah would later dub “Sing Sing” after the famous prison.

“I longed for someone to come kidnap me back then,” she said. “I used to fantasize about that a lot … [It] was not only a marriage, but a business thing where the person was in control of my life.”

The marriage publicly unraveled after an unflattering 1996 Vanity Fair profile of Mottola which essentially called him a thug, noting he “drove around in an armored limo, carried a 9mm Glock in his briefcase, and had such dubious connections that Sony Music asked the FBI to carry out a background check before hiring him.”

Once the world knew what Mariah knew, she felt free to finally leave — and she did.

The trauma caught up with her a few years later in 2001, when she suffered a very messy nervous breakdown. But these days the ‘American Idol’ judge is happily married to Nick Cannon, with whom she has twins and what seems like an idyllic (if somewhat over-sharing) existence.

Would she be as successful without Mottola? Probably not. But we’re betting she’d trade some of that just for the peace of mind she sacrificed along the way.

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