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Nick Cannon Says Being Married to Mariah Carey Was Like Trump and Putin Living Together

The TV host opened up about why his six-year marriage to the singer ended.

After getting married in 2008, Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey welcomed two children together: twins Moroccan and Monroe. But their relationship ended when Cannon filed for divorce in 2014. (It was finalized in 2016.) Today, the two stars are co-parents who continue spend time together along with their 12-year-old kids. There have been a lot of changes in the years since they were a romantic item—particularly on Cannon's side, as he went on to welcome 10 more children in other relationships. But while speaking to the Los Angeles Times recently, the Masked Singer host looked back on their marriage and explained why it didn't work out, using a pretty eyebrow-raising analogy. Cannon made a comparison between his and Carey's marriage and Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin living in the same house.

Read on to see what else Cannon had to say about his ex-wife in the new interview and how he explained that shocking comment.

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Cannon said they both have big personalities.

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon at the 2010 Oscars
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

In a Los Angeles Times interview published on May 7, Cannon described his marriage with Carey.

"Imagine if, like, Trump and Putin had to live in the same house," he said. It's likely that he meant that, even though they liked each other, they clashed because they have similarly dominating personalities.

"It wasn't even about her and I—we've always been good," the 42-year-old actor continued. "It was more about us understanding that instead of making it about our relationship and what I want or what you want, we should just do what's best for the children."

Carey has said that their egos played a role in their split.

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon at the premiere of "The Butler" in 2013
Debby Wong / Shutterstock

Cannon's comment comparing himself and his ex to the politicians seems to suggest that they're both too proud to be compatible. Carey said as much in her 2020 memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey.

"Honestly, I think Nick and I could have worked it out between the two of us, but egos and emotions got inflamed (which can translate into many billable lawyer hours, and ultimately it did)," she wrote (via People). "It was tough. We both wanted to make sure everything was cool for our family. We will always be family, and we make it work."

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Their careers also got in the way.

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon at The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation 13th Grand Slam for Children in 2008
Everett Collection / Shutterstock

In her book, Carey also explained that their busy careers strained the relationship, especially once their children came along. In addition to her music, Carey was a judge on American Idol around the time her children were babies, and she has acted, as well. Cannon has also released music and was hosting a few shows during their marriage, including America's Got Talent and Wild 'N Out.

"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," Carey wrote in her memoir.

Cannon said they called it quits for the benefit of their kids.

Monroe Cannon, Mariah Carey, Moroccan Cannon, and Nick Cannon at the 2018 Kids' Choice Awards
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

In a 2021 interview with The Breakfast Club, Cannon also pointed to their egos as one reason for the breakup.

"I hate using this term, but two alpha personalities," he said. "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."

Cannon also said that he and Carey had already decided that if their marriage didn't work out, they would always remain friends and raise their kids together.

"It's funny when they say 'co-parenting'—that phrase is a little redundant," Cannon told People in 2018. "You can't co-parent, you have to parent, and that's what we do well because when it comes to our children, we're selfless individuals—they're first."

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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