Mariah Carey Says Her First Marriage to Tommy Mottola Was Like 'Being a Prisoner'

Carey and Mottola tied the knot in 1993 when she was 23 and divorced in 1998

Mariah Carey says she felt like a “prisoner” in her marriage to music executive Tommy Mottola.

“There was no freedom for me as a human being,” Carey, 49, told Cosmopolitan in the magazine’s August cover story.

At just 23 years old, Carey married Mottola, 70, in 1993. He was 43.

“You might want to picture a child bride,” Carey told the publication. “There was a conscious effort to keep me as this all-American, whatever that means, girl.”

“There was no freedom for me as a human being. It was almost like being a prisoner,” Carey explained to Cosmopolitan.

The former couple divorced in 1998.

Their relationship began in 1991 when he was head of Sony Music. It grew romantic after her self-titled debut album became the best-selling record that year, the outlet reported.

Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola
Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola. Ron Galella/WireImage

A rep for Mottola did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Since their split, Mottola has opened up about their union in his book Hitmaker: The Man and His Music, calling it “absolutely wrong and inappropriate.”

He explains he’s “truly sorry for any discomfort or pain that all of my good intentions inevitably caused her, and most of all for the scars it left on my two oldest children [Sabrina Sakaë Mottola Sodi and Matthew Alejandro Mottola Sodi]” from his first marriage.

While she’s had many highly publicized romances throughout her career, Carey also explained in the interview that she’s never been one to play the field.

Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola
Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola. Rose Hartman/Getty Images

“I haven’t had that many, but there has been a variety pack,” Carey told Cosmopolitan.

“I’ve only been with five people in my life, so I’m kind of a prude, honestly, compared to most others in the field,” she added.

Mariah Carey Cosmopolitan
Mariah Carey. Jason Kim for Cosmopolitan

Over a decade after her marriage to Mottola ended, Carey tied the knot for the second time with Nick Cannon in 2008. They share 8-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe. Cannon, 38, and Carey divorced in 2016.

Carey is currently in a relationship backup dancer and choreographer Bryan Tananka, 36, whom she first began dating shortly after her split from Australian billionaire James Packer.

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