"I was very sequestered, as you know, when I first started out and if I were just allowed to be young and with a young boyfriend who's also a star and you know, you're working and you're both -- I don't know what goes on," she says in an interview on CNN's Larry King Live Wednesday. "You know what I mean? So it's like, I wasn't really allowed out of the house, so I can't imagine what she went through."
But the Precious star, 40, says she is no stranger to abuse.
Asked if she's ever been abused, she says, "Abuse has several categories. Emotionally, mentally, in other ways."
She says "it's scary" to try to break out of a destructive relationship. "I just think you get into a situation and you feel locked in -- if your situation is similar to one of the situations I've been in, which I won't harp on," she says.
Adds Carey (who was formerly wed to Sony Music mogul Tommy Mottola), "For me, to really get out, it was difficult because there was a connection that was not only a marriage but a business thing where the person was in control of my life."
These days, she is happy with husband Nick Cannon.
Is a bun in the oven?
"Right now? I'm going to take a swig of my scotch and let you know," she tells King.
Carey says being pregnant "would be the happiest thing in my life, but what I'm saying is right now with this movie [Precious] coming out, with the next few singles from the album and those things that I'm doing, I need to focus on that because I cannot do the having-a-child thing halfway."
"I wouldn't be just like, 'Oh, I'm having a child, yay! Let me get a nanny so I can give her the baby. Take the kid,'" she adds. "That doesn't work me. I don't believe in that."