Mariah Carey "Embarrassed" for Accepting Gadhafi Cash—So What's She Doing About It?

Singer joins Beyoncé and Nelly Furtado in distancing herself from Libyan war criminal in wake of revelation she accepted family's money for private performance

By Gina Serpe Mar 03, 2011 6:44 PMTags
Mariah Carey, Moammar Gadhafi Theo Wargo/Getty Images, AP Photo/ Abdel Magid Al Fergany

For Mariah Carey, the best defense isn't a good offense. It's a good old-fashioned case of ignorance is bliss.

Under mounting pressure, and in the wake of Nelly Furtado and Beyoncé both accounting for their $1 million paychecks for (ill advisedly, in retrospect) privately performing for the family of Libyan leader and suspected war criminal Moammar Gadhafi, Mariah has stepped up to offer an explanation of her transaction.

And it's not quite what we were expecting.

Turns out, Carey had no idea when she was paid $1 million by Moammar's son Seif Gadhafi to perform at a St. Barts bash back in 2008 that she was actually being hired by the Gadhafis. And while the first clue might've been in the name, she's not alone: In addition to Beyoncé and Furtado, Usher and 50 Cent were also hired (hopefully unwittingly) by the human rights-violating family.

Carey this morning released a statement saying that she felt "horrible and embarrassed" for not being more aware.

"I was naive and unaware of who I was booked to perform for. I feel horrible and embarrassed to have participated in this mess," she said. "Going forward, this is a lesson for all artists to learn from. We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows. Ultimately, we as artists are to be held accountable."

So, is Carey making like Furtado and Beyoncé and donating the seven-figure paycheck to charity? Well, not exactly.

While Carey's statement made no mention of what she did or planned to do with the Gadhafi payment, her rep did note that Carey has a history of being generous to charities (in particular her own, Camp Mariah), and that as a show of good faith, will donate all the royalties from her upcoming single, "Save the Day," to charities that specialize in creating awareness for human rights issues. So get downloading, people.

So, that's three artists accounted for. Fiddy? Usher? Your move, guys.