In a newly released clip for the upcoming Apple+ show The Oprah Conversations, the singer told Oprah Winfrey that Derek Jeter was “the catalyst” for her divorce from then-head of Sony Music, Tommy Mottola. Carey and Mottola were married for five years. from 1993-98, while Carey was linked to Jeter 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 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.”
She continued, “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 went on to say that Jeter’s family gave off a “healthy” energy that reminded of what her own family could be like.
“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 explained. “It was healthy for me to see a functional family that basically kind of looked like mine, but didn’t feel like mine.”
Mariah also confirmed in a Vulture interview last month that her songs, “My All” and “The Roof”–both of which are from 1998–were indeed written about Derek Jeter. You can watch a snippet from the highly anticipated interview here.