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Mariah Carey's First Husband Tommy Mottola Says He's The Reason For Her Success

01/06/2013 03:29 pm ET

Mariah Carey's ex-husband, record executive Tommy Mottola -- who she says was a "controlling" man who "mentally and emotionally" abused her during their four-year-marriage -- is speaking out.

Mottola, who is 20 years Carey's senior and married her when she was just 23, is clearing the air in his new memoir "Hitmaker," saying he might have been demanding, but he's the reason for her worldwide success.

"If it seemed like I was controlling, I apologize," he writes in his book, available on Jan. 15. "Was I obsessive? Yes. But that was also part of the reason for her success."

According to the New York Post, Mottola, who divorced the mother of his two children to be with the singer in 1993, explains that because he didn't let Carey take a break early on in her career, she became a superstar.

"My feeling was that there’d be plenty of time for Mariah to celebrate just a little ways down the road," the 63-year-old, now married to singer Thalia, writes. “I’m not talking 10 years, just a few."

But the music mogul is not taking full responsibility, adding that Carey's talent is untouched.

"An unbelievable energy was running though me, screaming, ‘Turn the car around! That may be the best voice you’ve ever heard in your life,'" he reportedly writes of when he first listened to Carey's demo.

Still, the "American Idol" judge has persistently dismissed Mottola's claims, calling their marriage a "private hell" and saying in an interview, "I came to him with the voice that I have. I came to him with the songs that went on to be Number One records."

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