Memoirs of an Imperfect Sibling: Mariah Carey Says Inspiration, Not Defamation Was the Goal of Her Book

Mariah Carey during the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Mariah Carey during the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Matthew Simmons for dcp (Getty Images)

As with most memoirs, when shit starts hitting the fan, family and friends who may have been mentioned often come out to either support or detract from whatever’s been said.


Such is the case with Mariah Carey, whose siblings haven’t been quite so happy with the things revealed in her September 2020 bestseller, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. As previously reported by The Root, a $1.25 million “intentional emotional distress” lawsuit was filed by Mariah’s older sister Alison Carey this past February. Page Six subsequently reported that her brother Morgan Carey filed a defamation suit against the pop singer back in March of this year, as well.

Now, Mariah (or more specifically, Mariah’s lawyers) are speaking out against Morgan’s claims in new court papers filed over the weekend. Those papers insist that the recollections present in Carey’s memoir, specifically those that allegedly “falsely portray” Mariah’s brother as “violent,” were not meant to defame him but rather to provide hope and inspiration to young people who may be overcoming a rough upbringing as well. And because her story is “a matter of public interest,” Morgan’s lawsuit should be thrown out.

An excerpt from the Manhattan Supreme Court filings per Page Six:

“The story of Ms. Carey’s rise from a dysfunctional and sometimes violent family environment has significant public value, particularly to any young person who may find her/himself stuck in similarly harsh and dispiriting circumstances and who can benefit from the inspiration to employ their talents in pursuit of their dreams,” argue the court papers filed by Carey’s lawyers.

No matter the explanation, it probably still won’t be enough for Morgan, who insists that the memories put forth in his sister’s book convey a “violence that was entirely one-sided, with the plaintiff being the recipient of his [father’s] misplaced rage,” instead of the other way around. Morgans also alleges that because of that, he’s missed out on professional opportunities in the film industry.

Mariah has been letting the literary choppa spray since her memoir’s release, shedding light on everything from childhood trauma, tumultuous familial and marital relationships, the ups and downs in her career and more. In conversation with The Glow Up’s Managing Editor Maiysha Kai and former Editor-in-Chief of The Root Danielle Belton, memoir co-author Michaela Angela Davis explained:

“You know, to actually own your own narrative and to tell your story, for someone who’s been so written about and talked about and interviewed about and mused about, it’s different.”


She later added, “It was, again, just a validation for her—her story, the layers of a life—because we always identified this as a memoir of her identity.”

As of now, the case with Mariah’s sister Alison is still pending. Lizzo told us the truth hurts, so let’s hope these siblings can find the resolve they need.



Being a miserable prick is a choice.

I’m glad Mariah has made choices to be happy, despite the prickish haters who cannot let any Black person live a good life without their useless, unheard protestations.

Master(batory) race, indeed.