Mariah Carey Says Derek Jeter Was a 'Catalyst' in Divorce from Tommy Mottola

Mariah Carey tells Oprah Winfrey that Derek Jeter was "a catalyst" in her divorce from music executive Tommy Mottola back in the late '90s.

Mariah Carey

Image via Getty/Paul Archuleta/Stringer

Mariah Carey

In a recently released clip for the upcoming Apple+ show The Oprah Conversations (which premieres tomorrow), Mariah Carey told Oprah Winfrey that the captain himself, Derek Jeter, was "the catalyst" for her divorce from then-head of Sony Music, Tommy Mottola. 

To set up this quote properly, note that Carey and Mottola were married for five years (1993-98) and that Carey and Jeter were linked together in the late '90s. 

"He was a catalyst that helped me get out of that relationship because I believed there was somebody else," Carey said of the Marlins CEO Hall of Famer. "It was the racial situation, his mom is Irish, his dad is Black. But he was also very ambiguous looking to me. I didn't know who he was, we met and I've written songs about it."

More on those songs in a second. 

"I don't think it was like, 'Oh my god, he was the love of my life.' Like, at the time I did, because I didn't think I would ever meet anybody who wouldn't…what's the word? I used the word, I just thought about this last night. Not looked down on but feel superior to me because of the fact that I'm not one way or another in most people's minds, and they have preconceived notions, whatever," Carey added.

She also said that Jeets' family gave off a "healthy" vibe that reminded her of her own. 

"His family was a healthy family and they changed my viewpoint that, 'Oh, it's because of the biracial situation that my family is so screwed up.' As opposed to, 'It's them,'" she said. "It was healthy for me to see a functional family that basically kind of looked like mine, but didn't feel like mine."

As for those songs that were penned with Jeter in mind, Carey actually answered that at the end of last month in a Vulture interview. Those would be "My All" and "The Roof," both of which are from 1998. 

Carey, whose memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey comes out next week, said that existing fan theories made it easier to publicly divulge some of the details behind her music. 

She told Vulture that "of course" she remembers her first kiss with Jeter, which is detailed on "The Roof." Not surprisingly, given the title, the kiss took place on Jeter's roof, which is certainly more romantic than, say, "The Gift Basket" would've been. 

"I can never forget that moment," Carey said. "I mean, it’s not like it was some intensely deep, intellectually stimulating—again, it was a great moment." 

She referenced her doomed relationship with Mottola by saying she felt like "a prisoner," adding that the Jeter kiss "happened in a divine way because it helped me get past living there, in Sing Sing, under those rules and regulations." 

As for "My All," Carey mentions that she's talking about what she'd do with Jeter when she sang the lyric "I’d risk my life to feel/Your body next to mine."

If you got either one of those with your fan theory, well, that would be pretty good actually.

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