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Mariah Carey Recalls Race-Related Incident: Someone Spit in My Face

Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company (via ABC News Radio)


Mariah Carey 's new movie, Lee Daniels' The Butler, examines race relations in America through the prism of a butler, based on a real person, who worked in the White House for over 30 years.  And Mariah says watching the film brought back unpleasant memories of her own encounter with racism.

At a press conference for the film, Mariah said that one scene, set in 1960 -- in which a white woman spits on a black college student for asking to be served at a whites-only lunch counter -- disturbed her because something similar happened to her as a child.

"That actually happened to me," Mariah, whose mother is white and whose father was African-American/Venezuelan, told reporters. "I know people would be in shock and not really want to believe or accept that, but it did . ... That right there, that was almost the deepest thing to me in the movie because I know what she went through...It was a school bus." 

When one of her co-stars, Oprah Winfrey , responded, "Where somebody spit on you?" Mariah replied, "Yeah. In the face and in the same way."

In the past, Mariah, who plays a sharecropper in the movie, has said that her mother's family disowned her mother for marrying someone of a different race, and that racial tensions were part of the reason the couple divorced when the singer was three.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio