The two outspoken judges were filming an audition in October when they became embroiled in an argument over a contestant. Their exchange was posted online. At one point, Minaj is said to have raged off-camera, "If I had a gun I would shoot (Carey)."
The reality show's executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, quickly blasted the claims, branding them "absolute rubbish," but Carey was alarmed enough that she beefed up her security team out of fear for her twin babies, Monroe and Moroccan.
Speaking out about the incident for the first time, Carey tells Barbara Walters, the host of the news show "20/20," "It felt like an unsafe work environment. Anytime anybody's reeling threats at somebody, you know, that's just not appropriate. Sitting there on the road with two babies, I'm not gonna take any chances, so, yeah, I did hire more security."
Carey, who was paid a reported $18 million to appear on the series, says she is now just focusing on her role as a judge and mentor. She adds, "For me, ultimately this is about the contestants. I've been blessed with my dream (for) more than half my life, so I want to help give that back to someone else."
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Minaj previously aired her side of the story on her reality show "Nicki Minaj: My Truth," stating, "Twenty minutes before that (argument) happened, she egged me on. ... In life, you react, and what you saw was a reaction."
Minaj recently took another dig at Carey in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, picking on her fellow diva's costume choices. She said, "I can think of at least one other person that shows more cleavage and skin than me."