Mariah Carey reveals candid, new details about her past romances in her new memoir, ‘The Meaning of Mariah Carey.’ Take a look back at every relationship she’s ever had — from Nick Cannon, to Derek Jeter and more!
The Meaning of Mariah Carey will make its debut on September 29 — and fans are lining up to grab a copy of her life story. Mariah Carey will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows with never-before-told stories from her past about love, life, career and more. The music icon, 50, “wrote about everything that made her who she is, including her marriage to Tommy Mottola,” a source close to Mariah told HollywoodLife, exclusively about her first marriage in the early ’90s.
While it was emotional to relive her relationship highs and lows, Mariah knew that she wanted to include the good, the bad and the ugly in her new book. “What can she do? It wouldn’t be her true story if she didn’t share what happened in their marriage,” the source admitted. Mariah’s memoir is slated to include more shocking details about her personal life, as well as her illustrious career — both of which continue to intertwine to this day. Hence, her most recent romance with her former backup dancer, Bryan Tanaka. Ahead of the release of her memoir, relive Mariah’s many Hollywood romances!
The casual Mariah Carey fan might not know about her first marriage to Sony Music executive Tommy Mottola. However, Mariah’s “Lambs” (her endearing term for her fanbase) will know that the two tied the knot in 1993 — despite their 21-year age difference. Mariah, who was 23 at the time, was just a pop rookie when she met the powerful music exec. Their marriage didn’t last the test of time as proven by their split five years later. To this day, Mariah rarely speaks of the marriage.
Before he finally settled down with wife Hannah Jeter in 2016, Derek Jeter was one of Hollywood’s most notorious bachelors. From actresses, to models and Mariah Carey, the Yankees legend certainly left his mark on the high-profile dating scene. Derek was publicly linked to Mariah for nearly a year from 1997 to 1998, following her split from Tommy. After all those years, Mariah confirmed the fling to Vulture in August of 2020, calling it the “catalyst” of her split from Tommy. Additionally, Mariah even revealed that her songs “My All” and “The Roof” were written about her relationship with Derek.
Not much is known about Mariah’s rumored (short-lived) romance with Marcus Schenkenberg, a Dutch model. The pair are said to have casually dated for a few months in 1998.
This is another relationship of Mariah’s that doesn’t have much of a backstory. Mariah dated the Mexican singer from 1998-2001. The singers apparently met a Christmas party in Aspen, Colorado, where they were both skiing. Aspen is a go-to getaway spot for Mariah. After she suffered a nervous breakdown in the summer of 2001, her split from Luis Miguel followed.
It’s no secret that Eminem and Mariah have somewhat of a rocky history. The rapper and singer’s alleged romance reportedly took place in 2001. But, it’s unclear how it began and what went down behind closed doors. “There’s truth to that,” Eminem told HollywoodLife‘s sister site Rolling Stone in 2002, when asked about the rumored romance. “But on the whole personal level, I’m not really feeling it,” he said, admitting, “I just don’t like her as a person.” — That same year, Mariah denied having a sexual relationship with Eminem during an interview with Maxim.
Eric Benet was a rumored blimp on Mariah’s romance radar back in the early 2000s. The actor starred alongside the singer in the 2001 musical drama, Glitter — Mariah’s feature film debut. They were rumored to have dated from 2000-2003, after they met on the set of Glitter. However, the rumor mill loves to churn out co-star romances, which could’ve very well been the case where Eric and Mariah were concerned.
It was no surprise that Mariah fell for Christian Monzon after she met the model on the set of her “Don’t Forget About Us” music video in 2005. Christian, who at the time was the well-known face of Dolce & Gabbana, played her steamy love interest in the sultry visual. The pair had a brief romance from 2005 to 2006. Mariah played coy when asked about their relationship status in January of 2006.
“Erm, how do we play this?” she said at the time. “OK, he’s a very nice guy, he’s been in a fabulous Dolce & Gabbana advert – did you see it? – and we’ve had some nice conversations and, um, a nice time. OK, I’ll say he definitely did a very good job in the video.” Mariah also noted that “men tend to go off me when they find out I’m a prude.” She explained, “They either turn into my big brother or else they stop talking to me. Luckily, I have a lot of male friends who have gone way, way past that whole sexual thing.”
Mariah’s longtime relationship with Nick Cannon is her most documented and public one to date. The two wed in 2008, making the union Mariah’s second marriage. Mariah and Nick welcomed twins in 2011, Moroccan and Monroe. Sadly, they separated in December of 2014. The pair finalized their divorce in 2016, and agreed to joint custody of their children. Since then, they’ve publicly supported one another’s careers and personal lives, and continue to successfully co-parent their son and daughter. Nick and Mariah’s friendship is so strong, that Nick has even admitted he would marry is ex-wife again.
“I was very faithful in my marriage. The reason why we split up had nothing to do with infidelity, nothing like that,” Nick, who called Mariah his “dream girl,” said on the September 23  episode of T.I.’s podcast ExpediTIously. “Once I stepped away from that, I [realized] that construct is not designed for me. I gave it my all,” he admitted. “Because even before that, I was like, ‘I don’t believe in marriage.’ But, sh-t, it was Mariah Carey. Whatever she say, I’m with it. If she wanted to say we was going to the moon, I’m like, ‘Let’s go.’ If I’mma marry somebody, I’mma marry her.”
Mariah’s romance with Australian billionaire James Packer seemed to come out of nowhere in 2015. They met just one year prior, at the 2014 premiere of Hercules. Then, by June of 2015, they were spotted holding hands while on a romantic vacation in Italy. That September, Mariah and James made their red carpet debut at the September premiere of The Intern. At the time, many fans didn’t understand the romance, as James seemed to be the complete opposite of Mariah — in the sense that he wasn’t keen on being in the spotlight.
Mariah and James were engaged from January to October of 2016, after he popped the question with a massive 35-carat diamond ring that was worth an estimated $10 million. But, rumors that they had an unhappy relationship continued to follow the couple. By the end of October, it was confirmed that Mariah and James had split for good. The breakup was so bitter that the pair eventually reached a reported multimillion-dollar settlement — something Mariah allegedly requested as an “inconvenience fee.”
Not long after her breakup with James, Mariah moved on with her backup dancer at the time, Bryan Tanaka, in December of 2017. After a brief split, they rekindled their romance and have been in an on-again, off-again relationship ever since. Bryan, who was eventually promoted to Mariah’s “creative director,” starred in her short-lived E! television series, Mariah’s World (2016-2017). The reality show had an episode titled “Catching Feelings,” which explored her romance with Bryan. They celebrated Bryan’s 37th birthday together in April of 2020, and the pair gushed about one another on social media in May.