Families are complicated. Just ask Mariah Carey.
Earlier this year, both the superstar pop diva’s estranged siblings sued her, alleging emotional distress and defamation for statements made about them in “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” her 2020 tell-all memoir. (She’s even referred to them as her ex-sister and ex-brother!) The “Without You” singer has also reportedly had a long fraught and, by some accounts, distant relationship with her mother, former opera singer and vocal coach Patricia Carey.
Nonetheless, in 1994, several years after the five-octave singer released her chart-topping eponymous debut album, and the year after she married her first ex-husband, powerful pop music Svengali Tommy Mottola, she shelled out $419,000 to purchase Patricia a secluded home in the sleepy and sylvan Westchester County, N.Y., town of Lewisboro, about an hour-and-a-half’s drive out of Midtown Manhattan, near the Connecticut border.
It was to this house where, in late July 2001, Patricia called 911 while Mariah was in the midst of a violent nervous breakdown amid her promo tour for the box-office bomb “Glitter.” And it was at this house Mariah briefly convalesced when she was released from a short stay at a tony private hospital a couple weeks later.
It’s not clear how often the now 50-year-old Queen of Christmas returned to her mother’s home in Westchester County after that but what does seem clear is that the Songbird Supreme was in all kinds of a hurry to get rid of the property after she moved her now 82-year-old mother to a high-end assisted living facility in Florida last fall. The elder Carey’s Westchester Country spread, which spans nearly six acres, quietly came up for sale about four months ago and has now been sold to a local couple for the unusual price of $757,444, a notable amount over the not quite $600,000 asking price. The property was listed with Phyllis Weydig at Sotheby’s Int’l Realty and the buyers were represented in the deal by Anna Proctor of Douglas Elliman.
Set on nearly six acres and built in the early 1980s with four bedrooms and 2.5 baths in just over 3,000 square feet, the wood-clad contemporary certainly has some room to spread out but it’s also definitely on the dumpy side, with scratched up wood floors, stained wall-to-wall carpeting, and a woefully outdated kitchen with rental-grade appliances. Bathrooms are also in need of updates and there’s only central air on the home’s first floor, which means the bedrooms are stifling in the humid summertime. Indeed, promo materials make no secret of the home’s condition, with a call out to “all builders and DIY enthusiasts to bring this contemporary up to date.” It’s hardly a hovel but it’s also not exactly the splendor one might imagine the elderly mother of one of the world’s top-selling music artists might live. But again, families are complicated.
Surrounded by dense woods that ensure total privacy, the lush and gated grounds, however, are lovely with vast lawns, a lily pond and, next to the swimming pool, a tiny, screened gazebo for escaping mosquitoes.
A Long Island native, Mariah has a long, on-again-off-again relationship with Westchester County. She lived there with Mottola in the mid 1990s — their 51-acre spread was sold in 1997, after they split up, for $20.5 million to financier Norm Peltz and the 33,000-square-foot mansion burned to the ground in 1999 — and last year she retreated to tony Bedford Corners during the Covid-19 quarantines where she, her kids and a handful of her assistants and glam-squad members holed up in a rented mansion with a 90-foot-long violin-shaped swimming pool.
While she could afford to buy and sell homes left and right all day long — by some estimates her net worth exceeds half a billion dollars, Carey maintains but a small portfolio of homes that nowadays includes a triplex penthouse in lower Manhattan — it was done up by the late Prince of Chintz, Mario Buatta, and once photographed for Architectural Digest — as well as a beachfront compound on hyper-exclusive Windermere Island in the Bahamas.