Mariah Carey Demanded $50 Million "Inconvenience Fee" From Ex-Fiancé After Breakup

The pop star was engaged to James Packer in 2016.

For most people ending an engagement only costs expenses that will no longer be shared, the ring, and any deposits you already made for the wedding. But, Mariah Carey is not most people. Back in 2016, she reportedly charged her ex-fiancé James Packer a $50 million "inconvenience fee" when they broke up. While Carey reportedly did not end up with the entire sum, it was widely reported that she did pocket quite a large amount of money from the Australian billionaire following their split. Read on to find out more.

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Carey and Packer got engaged in early 2016.

Mariah Carey and James Packer at the 2016 G'Day Los Angeles Gala
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Carey and Packer first met at the premiere of Hercules in 2014. They were introduced by Brett Ratner, the movie producer and friend of Packer's who directed the film. The couple made their relationship public in 2015, and in January 2016, they became engaged after Packer proposed with a 35-carat engagement ring.

"It's so heavy I can't lift my arm up!" Carey told E! News of the diamond. "No… It's a nice chunk." She said of her relationship, "I'm feeling fantastic, better than ever … He's an exceptional person and really… it gets more romantic by the day, so it's very sweet." She added that if the planning went well, the wedding would be "somewhat soon."

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They broke up nine months later.

Mariah Carey and James Packer at the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GLAAD

Packer and Carey's split was reported in October 2016. A representative for the singer told Entertainment Tonight that they had not seen each other since getting into a fight during a trip to Greece the previous month. Sources and representatives for both Carey and Packer then exchanged varying stories in the press.

For example, as reported by People, a source who was close to Carey said at one point that Packer had "not been in a mentally healthy place." A source close to Packer then said, it was "typical Mariah to just twist things that don't sound good to her. They split because she has issues."

She reportedly asked for an "inconvenience fee."

Mariah Carey at the premiere of "The Lego Batman Movie" in 2017
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock

Entertainment Tonight reported in November 2016 that Carey requested a $50 million "inconvenience fee" from Packer for the engagement being called off. Reportedly, they had been discussing a prenup for if they had gotten married, which is where the $50 million amount came from. But, another source said "that figure never existed."

"He moved her across the country and relocated her and her kids," a source said. "He made promises to her that weren't fulfilled." This source also said that Carey wanted to keep her engagement ring—which was said to have been worth $10 million—and wanted Packer to buy her a home in California.

The source continued, "Mariah would like James to apologize for breaking up with her so publicly. She feels like he used her to increase his profile in America and globally to help further his business interests."

They eventually settled.

Mariah Carey and James Packer at opening ceremony of the Studio City casino resort in Macau in 2015
PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images

A year later, in November 2017, ET reported that Carey had received a "multimillion-dollar settlement" from Packer in regards to their breakup. A source said, "She still has the ring and wears it now on her middle finger … They 100 percent have not spoken for a year, maybe even longer than that."

The Blast reported that Carey received between $5 million and $10 million "between the cash and the ring," because the ring was reportedly not worth as much as the $10 million that had been previously reported.

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Both Packer and Carey spoke out about their split.

Mariah Carey and James Packer in Los Angeles in 2016
SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images via Getty Images

In 2020, Packer spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald about his relationship with Carey ahead of the release of her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. The businessman said, "I wish her well" and noted that they hadn't spoken for four years.

"She was kind, exciting and fun," Packer said. "Mariah is a woman of substance. She is very bright. But it was a mistake for her and a mistake for me."

Carey spoke about her memoir to The Guardian and was asked about the fact that she didn't include Packer in the book while she did write about her other relationships.

"If it was a relationship that mattered, it's in the book. If not, it didn't occur," she said. When the interviewer pointed out that she was engaged to Packer, and the star replied, "We didn't have a physical relationship, to be honest with you," and left it at that.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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