She may have fallen onstage, but Mariah Carey's not letting anyone or anything inadvertently reveal whether she's pregnant.
The pop sensation tumbled onstage during a Singapore concert Saturday. The 40-year-old diva sat there for a moment before one of her backup dancers helped her up.
Carey, who had been belting out "Make It Happen," quipped "I meant to do that" before an assistant rushed to relieve the singer of the high heels that likely led to her fall. Ever the performer, Carey finished her 90-minute show barefoot.
Carey later took to Twitter to assure her fans she was A-OK.
"TY SO much to my fans in Singapore!!! Yeah, several hectic moments, (lol!)but I tried to swirl them into festive!.Love+ God Bless!," she wrote on her Twitter account.
But her fall could have more serious implications. For months, Carey's been dodging rumors that she's pregnant. Recent photos of a larger-than-usual Carey at a concert in Brazil helped fuel baby-onboard reports, but in their wake, Carey's publicist released a statement saying that even she can't say for sure if the singer's pregnant.
"I appreciate everyone's well wishes, but I am very superstitious," Carey said in an August statement released by her publicist, Cindi Berger. "When the time is right, everyone will know -- even Cindi Berger."
Asked to comment on the singer's condition following her Saturday fall, Berger told ABCNews.com Carey is "fine." She declined to further comment on Carey.
As celebrity watchers affix proof-of-pregnancy explanations to Carey's decisions -- the "Precious" cast member reportedly dropped out of a new Tyler Perry movie project -- husband Nick Cannon, 29, addressed the rumors with listeners of his radio show in August. People.com reported Cannon's message: "I've said it before and I'll say it time and time again. When my wife feels like talking about whatever she wants to talk about, you will hear it directly from her."
News of high-profile celebrity pregnancies (remember Angelina Jolie and Katie Holmes?) tend to fuel media frenzies. Recently, expectant moms Alicia Keys and Miranda Kerr have garnered their own share of media ink.
Experts do notice, however, the seemingly contradictory stances of many female celebrities. On the one hand, some starlets desire to be media darlings and the focus when it comes to looks, fashion, romantic partners and what they've eaten for dinner. But on the other hand, they opt to stay totally mum about confirming they're pregnant.
Why the duality?
It's simple, suggested Patricia A. Farrell, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and the author of "How to Be Your Own Therapist: A Step-by-Step Guide to Taking Back Your Life." Whether the celeb confirms or denies, she wins.
"When a female celeb denies her pregnancy, both the press and the fans gets played," said Farrell. "The pregnancy, whether confirmed or denied, is in the service of getting more ink and playing the PR game. This compunction to tease is even more useful when she's fallen a few rungs off the media ladder and wants the newly generated interest in her medical condition to boost her standing."
The celeb, of course, seldom needs to encourage the media. As far as the paparazzi are concerned, either a baby bump or a dress that attempts to conceal a pregnancy, even when there is none, is "proof" of impending motherhood, said Farrell. No matter what tactic the celeb uses to conceal or reveal, the media will interpret clothing choices to their liking, and look for the best camera angle to highlight an excessive belly curve. The celebrity benefits from media attention, no matter what. "She can't lose," said Farrell.
"Drama and attention sell movies, music and magazines," said Judith Sills, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Philadelphia and the author of "The Comfort Trap." "Keeping the 'is she or isn't she' momentum going is a lot more thrilling than saying, 'Yes, as a matter of fact, I am pregnant.'"
Some female celebrities, however, genuinely want to keep their pregnancies off the media radar for the first trimester, said Sills, given the emotional risk that comes with announcing the pregnancy early on. If there's a miscarriage, you're forced to share a loss publicly that you would have preferred to keep private, she said.
And, added Drew, from a public relations standpoint, questions about the miscarriage seem to pop up "like a very bad footnote" with great regularity at every interview following the tragedy.
"Privacy enhances your emotional well being," said Sills.
It's a chunk of wisdom that Mariah Carey seems to be putting to very good use.