People.com Entertainment Music Mariah Carey Opens Up About Being Biracial, Her 'Controlling' First Marriage — and Milk Baths The star revealed how being biracial led to an identity crisis at a young age By Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit is a Royals Writer/Reporter at PEOPLE. She has been with the brand since 2016 after graduating from The College of New Jersey and holding previous positions at Seventeen, CBS Radio and more. Follow the proud dog mom on Twitter at @stephpetit_ for the latest on Queen Elizabeth's corgis. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 5, 2018 01:35 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Mariah Carey is shooting down rumors about her alleged diva tendencies — and replacing them with even more extravagant tales. The singer sat down with The Guardian for a wide-ranging interview, dismissing gossip that she once requested 20 white kittens and 100 white doves be on-hand for an event and another story that she insists on a new toilet seat when she stays at a hotel. Carey also said the myth that she bathes in French mineral water is untrue, telling the publication: “No, I bathe in milk.” “Sometimes I use milk as a beauty treatment,” she explained, noting that the liquid should be cold. “I don’t want to give away all my secrets.” But Carey’s not opposed to the rumor. “Well, I guess if there’s no clean water and I had to use mineral water, maybe I would,” she said. Carey, who first opened up about her battle with bipolar disorder in PEOPLE, said she believes the struggle may have stemmed from an identity crisis growing up as the child of a white mother and a black father. “It was a combination of being biracial and experiencing the darker side of life,” she said. “My mom experienced a lot of racism as an opera singer because she was married to a black man. Again, it’s impossible to encapsulate that in this setting.” She also recalled a time when a friend came over to her house to play and “burst into tears because she had never seen a black person.” “I had to go through so much in my childhood just to feel accepted and feel worthy of existing on Earth because I felt so different from everybody else growing up, because I was biracial, because I was so ambiguous-looking and because we didn’t have the money to escape whatever the everyday realities of life were,” she said. Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG/Getty Mariah Carey Already Replaced Her Old Engagement Ring with Something Very ‘Mariah’ Carey’s high-profile relationships — specifically, her marriages — have also shaped her. The singer was married to her second husband, Nick Cannon, for eight years before they split in 2016 (the pair share 7-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe). And Carey wed her first husband, Sony exec Tommy Mottola, in 1993, when she was a newcomer in the industry. In the interview, Carey called the marriage to Mottola — the man that helped her break into the music business — a “completely controlling relationship,” adding that although it strengthened her, it “also wounded.” The two split four years after walking down the aisle, and Carey revealed her split informed her evolving music. Want to keep up with the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox. “I was definitely more free. But that started a bit before. ‘Fantasy’ with Ol’ Dirty Bastard happened when I was still in that relationship,” she explained. “There were a lot of things that felt liberating, but it was also a battle because of being embroiled in the business when you’re in a relationship.” Happier and healthier than ever, Carey is now preparing for her next Las Vegas residency — “The Butterfly Returns” — at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, which kicks off July 5.