In The Meaning of Mariah Carey, the singer claims the music producer had “crippling control” over her and that being with him was like “walking on a bed of nails”.
Carey married the former boss of Columbia Records and Sony Music in 1993, after meeting him at a party five years earlier. She was 23 at the time, he was 43. Robert De Niro was Mottola’s best man.
The pair’s relationship ended in divorce in 1998, and Carey claims in her new book that this was largely down to Mottola’s controlling behaviour.
According to The Daily Mail, Carey nicknamed their estate in New York “Sing Sing” after the local prison as she felt she was being constantly monitored by cameras and “armed guards”.
“I smuggled myself out bit by bit, through the lyrics of my songs,” she writes.
Carey describes Mottola’s presence as “dense and oppressive”, adding: “In the beginning… I was walking on eggshells. Then it became a bed of nails, and then a minefield. I never knew when or what would make him blow, and the anxiety was relentless.”
She claims she kept a packed bag under her bed in case she need to escape. “It felt like he was cutting off my circulation, keeping me from my friends and what little 'family' I had,” she writes. “I couldn't talk to anyone that wasn't under Tommy's control. I couldn't go out or do anything with anybody. I couldn't move freely in my own house.”
Carey also reveals she had an affair with Yankees star Derek Jeter. She calls the affair “the catalyst I needed to get out from under Tommy’s crippling control”.
According to the Mail, she says she finally decided to break up with Mottola when, in front of his friends one night, he allegedly held a butter knife to her face and dragged it down her cheek in anger.
She claims after the divorce she left Sony Music but Mottola “used all his power and connections to punish me”.
Carey’s second marriage was to Nick Cannon in 2008. The pair divorced in 2016.
In his 2013 memoir, Mottola admitted being "obsessive" but said Carey had, in the past, given “harsh” and “untrue” descriptions of their relationship.
The Independent has contacted Mottola’s representatives for comment.
The Meaning of Mariah Carey is out now.
If you need support, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, any time of day on 0808 2000 247.
Refuge has a full team working round the clock to ensure as many women as possible who need support are able to access it.
You can follow this link and organise a safe time in which a member of the team can get in touch.