The ‘Obsessed’ singer – who married actor-and-rapper Nick Cannon in 2008 - has spoken out about how she has been affected by the struggle she faced in previous relationships and hinted her ex-husband Tommy Mottola was responsible for her ordeal.

She said: “Abuse has several categories. Emotionally, mentally, in other ways. I just think you get into a situation and you feel locked in. If your situation is similar to one of the situations I’ve been in, which I won’t harp on. For me, to really get out, it was difficult because there was a connection that was not only a marriage but a business thing where the person was in control of my life.”

Mariah wed music executive Tommy in 1993 after he signed her to the music label CBS Records. They separated just three years later and divorced in 1998.

The 40-year-old beauty also spoke out in support of ‘Rehab’ singer Rihanna, who was assaulted by her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown earlier this year following a pre-Grammy’s party.

Mariah admitted she can empathise with the 21-year-old starlet’s experience of domestic abuse.

She told host Larry King: "I was very sequestered, as you know, when I first started out and if I were just allowed to be young and with a young boyfriend who's also a star and you know, you're working and you're both — I don't know what goes on. You know what I mean? So it's like, I wasn't really allowed out of the house, so I can't imagine what she went through."

Meanwhile, the singer-turned-actress says she is desperate to have children with Nick, but is waiting for a gap in her career.

She explained: “Being pregnant would be the happiest thing in my life, but what I'm saying is right now with this movie ‘Precious’ coming out, with the next few singles from the album and those things that I'm doing, I need to focus on that because I cannot do the having-a-child thing halfway.”