Mariah Carey Says 'Breakdown' Overblown

ByABC News via logo
December 2, 2002, 9:46 PM

Dec. 3 -- Mariah Carey, who made headlines a year and a half ago when she was hospitalized after apparently suffering an emotional meltdown, is back with a new album, and says she wants to put speculation about her mental state behind her.

In a new interview, the 32-year-old pop diva insists she did not have a nervous breakdown. She says she was simply exhausted from working around the clock. The problem, she says, was that she hated to say no when her career placed demands on her.

"I was totally exhausted and I needed to go to sleep and I needed rest and I needed people to leave me alone and stop banging on my freaking door to get up and do a freaking video," Carey told MTV correspondent John Norris in an interview that was shown in part on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.

The interview airs in its entirety tonight at 9 p.m. on an MTV special called Mariah Carey: Shining Through the Rain.

"There has been so much written and reported about me over the past year and I've been pretty quiet up until now," Carey said. "It wasn't like I went schizo and needed to be put in a straitjacket or tried to kill myself, what they were saying. I just think it's time to set the record straight."

Since the episode, Carey has been working again and making public appearances. Last winter, Carey went overseas to entertain American troops in Kosovo, and she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Her new album, Charmbracelet, is set for release today.

Glitter Wasnt Gold

In the summer of 2001, the singer suffered what was described as an emotional breakdown after a two-week whirlwind tour to promote her first movie, Glitter.

The movie, autobiographical in some ways, bombed at the box office. Even more disastrous for Carey, the soundtrack album her first under a milestone $80 million contract with Virgin Records did poorly in stores. The record company bought its way out of the contract, and things looked bleak.

Carey was taken to a hospital on July 26, 2001, in suburban Westchester County, N.Y., after she reportedly became so violently upset that she smashed plates. She was later moved to a facility in Connecticut, and was placed under her doctor's care after being released Aug. 27.