Mariah Carey's ex husband Tommy Mottola is opening up about mentoring his ex-wife while he was a music executive and reveals that "obsessive" behavior was necessary to make her the star that she is today.
In an interview Tuesday with the Today show's Matt Lauer, Mottola responded to a passage from his new book Hitmaker: The Man and His Music, where -- among many other topics -- he addresses his "controlling" nature while nurturing Carey's musical talent.
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"Well I think that anyone that is successful becomes obsessive with what they are trying to succeed at," he tells Lauer. In the book, the former Sony Music Entertainment executive writes, "If it seemed like I was controlling let me apologize..." He then tells Lauer he thinks it "will be the first time" that his wife of five years will get such an apology for his past actions.
Concerning his relationship with the singer -- who is 21 years his junior -- Mottola said he recognized now that it was a mistake at the time. "It was absolutely wrong and inappropriate for me to become involved with Mariah, and I'm not saying this because there was a generation gap, I should [have] listened to the piercing voice of my shrink and maintained my distance."
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Mottola was also asked how he thinks Carey will react to the revelations in his book. "I have nothing but the greatest respect for her in the world, she is one of the greatest singers and songwriters that has ever come along. So I feel great about all of the things that she has achieved as a result of all of the work that we did."
On the subject of late pop star Michael Jackson, Mottola said his talent was not overrated. "Well you know, Michael was demanding but he commanded that respect. I looked at him as one of the most talented artists I ever worked with and everyone around him gave him that respect," he said. "The problem was too many people didn't tell him the things that probably would of helped him."
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When asked to comment on the controversy over whether Beyonce lip-synced her performance of the National Anthem at President Barack Obama's inauguration, the music industry veteran defended the R&B star. "Technically, when you do those events, it's never the best of circumstances," he said. "Beyonce is one of the greatest singers in the world, so my feeling is anytime she wants to get up and sing, she can sing -- better than anyone."