James Packer has spoken for the first time of his break-up with Mariah Carey to say their whirlwind romance and short-lived engagement was a ‘mistake’.
In an interview with The Australian, Packer reveals how he has been living as a recluse at his Buenos Aires ranch since his break-up with Mariah in October 2016 after 18 months together.
He describes how he met the songstress at a ‘low point’ in his life when debt within his empire was escalating and when he was looking for a way to spend more time in Los Angeles to be close to his children with second wife Erica.
He was also having issues with his estranged sister Gretel over how they would and invest money they had been left by their late father Kerry.
Two years ago I was terrified. I had $2.3 billion of debt at CPH [Consolidated Press Holdings, his private company], over $3 billion of debt at Crown, I’d just appointed Rob [Rankin as chairman of Crown], Macau was falling over and [sister] Gretel was on my doorstep.
‘Then, a year later, I’ve got China falling apart, the Australian casino businesses missing budgets by big amounts, I’ve got Mariah breaking up with me and I’m thinking, ‘F..k!’.
Explaining that it was Brett Ratner, his partner in an ill-fated Hollywood venture RatPac, who introduced him to Carey, he said:
‘I was at a low point in my personal life. Documenting the negotiations with my sister was taking longer than expected.’She was kind, exciting and fun. Mariah is a woman of substance. She is very bright. But it was a mistake for her and a mistake for me.’
While he and Carey are no longer friends, he remains on good terms with second wife Erica and said it was his biggest regret that their marriage failed.
‘It is my biggest regret that I let my marriage to Erica fail. It is what it is and she is doing an incredible job with the kids and we are in a great place,’ he said.