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Nick Cannon Just Revealed the Truth About His Marriage to Mariah Carey

"That skewed some views to where she no longer wanted to be in scenarios like that," Cannon said.

Nick Cannon has been making headlines recently for welcoming four children in the past year with three different women. But, while talking about his kids—seven total—in a new interview, he also opened up about another eyebrow-raising topic: his marriage to Mariah Carey.

Cannon and Carey were married from 2008 to 2016 and have 10-year-old twins together named Monroe and Moroccan Cannon. In a new interview with The Breakfast Club on Aug. 9, Cannon shared his thoughts on his marriage to Carey, and said that initially, neither of them really wanted to wed. Read on to see what Cannon had to say and what Carey's recently revealed about the marriage.

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Nick Cannon says Mariah Carey wasn't "a big believer in marriage."

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon at The Fresh Air Fund Salute to American Heroes in 2009
Everett Collection /

During The Breakfast Club interview, Cannon talked about how he isn't interested in getting married again. When Carey came up, he jokingly exclaimed, "That's still my wife!" Then, he shared that Carey was "never a big believer in marriage, either."

The 40-year-old TV host continued, referring to Carey's first marriage to Tommy Mottola, a record executive 20 years her senior. "She was in some scenarios in her past where there was some overpowering… the hierarchy of a relationship. Because she got married early on really young, so that skewed some views to where she no longer wanted to be in scenarios like that," Cannon said, referring to Mottola but not naming him. "When we first got down and met, we came into it like, 'We don't believe in marriage.' And then it got to this place like, 'Man, we got a lot of similar beliefs, so let's have some fun with this. Let's embrace it.'"

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Carey was first married at 23.

Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola at their wedding in 1993
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In 1993, Carey, then 23, married Mottola, who was 43 at the time. He was also the head of Columbia Records, the company that released her first seven albums. They separated in 1997, and according to Us Weekly, in her 2020 memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, Carey wrote that Mottola was controlling. She added: "Many reasonable people questioned why I married Tommy. But none of them questioned the decision more than I did."

As reported by Page Six, Mottola previously wrote in his 2013 own book, Hitmaker: The Man and His Music, "If it seemed like I was controlling, let me apologize again."

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Carey shared her side of her and Cannon's marriage in her 2020 book.

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon at the 2010 Oscars
Jaguar PS /

According to People, Carey wrote in her recent book that she and Cannon got married quickly because they both wanted to have kids. "Our desire to have children became a force of nature and why we got married so quickly," she wrote. She also said that, unlike her first marriage, "the power dynamics between us felt even."

As for the split, the 51-year-old singer wrote, "Making the necessary adult adjustments to being working parents in entertainment took its toll on our relationship, and the end of our marriage came fast, as it began."

Cannon said the couple always vowed to be friends, even if their marriage didn't last.

Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon, and their children at the 2018 Kid's Choice Awards
Kathy Hutchins /

In the Breakfast Club interview, Cannon also said that wanting to have kids brought him and Carey together. "People probably won't believe it, but I remember the first time that we hung out, we had a conversation, like how cool would it be if we were to get married, had a boy and a girl—really spoke everything into existence," he said.

Cannon added that at that point, they even were clear on the fact that if things didn't work out with their relationship, they'd still be friends and would raise their children together.

As for the reason for the breakup, Cannon said, "I hate using this term, but two alpha personalities." He added, "I always say to be the best parent, I had to step back …. You got to take the selfishness out and operate for the children."

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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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