The pop songbird has postponed her much-anticipated September 12 interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's 20/20 because Carey needs more time to recover from her recent mental breakdown, her publicist said.
The interview was scheduled to be taped later this week. But Cindi Berger told E! Online Wednesday that Carey "needs more time to rest." Berger wouldn't elaborate on the singer's current condition, and when asked whether Carey had returned to a hospital, she declined comment.
It's not clear when the interview will be rescheduled. In a statement, Walters said "we were concerned to hear that Ms. Carey would be unable to do the interview at this time, and wish her well."
Up to this point, Carey seemed ready for a return to the public spotlight. She has left several thankful messages to fans on her official Website, www.MariahCarey.com, saying (among other things) "thank you for getting me through everything" and letting them know "I am taking care of myself" and "you definitely can't believe everything you read."
The 20/20 postponement also raises questions about whether Carey will be able to promote her already delayed new film, Glitter. Last month, 20th Century Fox pushed back the film's release date from Labor Day weekend to September 21, in the hopes that Carey would be rested and ready to make the media rounds. Virgin Records also delayed the soundtrack's release date until next Tuesday.
The 31-year-old songstress was released from psychiatric care at a Connecticut hospital last month. Since then, Carey has remained virtually out of sight, save for a brief public appearance at her New York camp for disadvantaged kids, Camp Mariah.
She was first hospitalized July 25, after her publicist said she suffered an "emotional and physical breakdown" stemming from a breakneck schedule completing Glitter and its accompanying soundtrack. Carey also had just finished shooting another film, Wisegirls, costarring Mira Sorvino.
Meanwhile, the media-frenzied game of "Guess Mariah's Ailment" continues. This time, the October issue of Talk magazine cites several alleged factors for Carey's breakdown--most notably that she was paranoid that ex-husband and Sony Music chief Tommy Mottola was trying to sabotage her career.
Carey's publicist refused to comment on the Talk story. But the magazine contends that Carey believed Mottola was working to give actress-singer Jennifer Lopez the same style as Carey, and that Lopez and Sony later stole part of Carey's not-yet-released Glitter single, "Loverboy."
Carey's original version featured a melody from "Firecracker," a song by a long-since-defunct Japanese band called Yellow Magic Orchestra. But before "Loverboy" was released, Lopez released her own single, "I'm Real," featuring the same "Firecracker" melody. Carey--believing Sony stole the track and handed it to Lopez--ultimately rerecorded her song.
During her midsummer interview with Carey, Talk writer Vanessa Grigoriadis mentioned that she recently interviewed Lopez, to which Carey reportedly replied, "I bet it was really intellectually stimulating."
Carey is quoted addressing Lopez's claims that she manages to get eight hours of sleep every night: "If I had the luxury of not actually having to sing my own songs, I'd do that too."
(updated at 1:30 p.m. PT)