New York: Music executive Tommy Mottola will never let ex-wife Mariah Carey be completely free of him even after years of their failed marriage.
Even after their divorce, Carey spent years working through the trauma of what she called an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship.
Mottola makes clear in his new memoir, ‘Hitmaker,’ out January 15 — just one day before Carey makes her debut as a judge on ‘American Idol’ — he still claims ownership over her fame, the New York Post reported.
In October 1988, Carey was a struggling 18-year-old singer from Long Island, living in a one-bedroom in Manhattan with two roommates.
Not much time elapsed between high school and her meeting Tommy Mottola, then the 39-year-old head of Sony Music.
The official version, and the one that Mottola retells in his book, has him at an industry party when Brenda K. Starr, then a B-list singer for whom Carey had sung backup, passed him a copy of Carey’s demo recording; he listened to it in the car on his way home.
“An unbelievable energy was running though me,” he writes, “screaming, ‘Turn the car around! That may be the best voice you’ve ever heard in your life!’”
Three days later, Mottola called Carey in for a meeting. In truth, Carey had already been offered a 30,000-dollar deal with Warner, but Mottola simply upped the figure by 50,000 dollars.
He told her he would make her the biggest pop star in the world — bigger than Whitney, bigger than Madonna. She’d just have to get rid of her collaborator, who was also her boyfriend.
Mottola also felt that he and Carey had “great chemistry,” as he puts it. So even though he was married with two children, Carey, “flirtatious from the moment I set eyes on her,” caused him to act against his better judgment. And he acted like a teenager himself, going in to work and gossiping with fellow executives about the details of his nights with Carey.
After signing Carey, Mottola took control of everything: hiring Carey’s producers, songwriters, arrangers.
He spent 1.8 million dollars on her debut record and when he saw the first cut of her debut video, for ‘Vision of Love,’ he demanded it be scrapped and spent another 500,000 dollars on re-shoots.
By the end of 1991, Carey’s eponymous debut record had sold more than 15 million copies, making it the best-selling album of the year.