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Mariah Carey quizzed on political corruption in Israel

By | Published on Wednesday 28 June 2017

Mariah Carey

It’s not uncommon for trips made by musicians to Israel to be controversial. However, Mariah Carey’s journey to Tel Aviv this week to launch a face cream has been a little different. Interviews have quickly turned to the whereabouts of her former fiancé James Packer, who is wanted for questioning by police in the country. And she’s quite annoyed about it.

Israeli police are investigating accusations of corruption against Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Among a number of allegations, it is claimed that he received expensive gifts from various business people, despite rules banning elected officials from accepting such things, one of whom is Packer.

A number of people have already been questioned in the investigation, but police want to speak to the Australian media mogul in particular because he is a close friend of Netanyahu. When he and then partner Carey visited Israel in 2015, they dined privately with the Prime Minister and his wife, Sara.

The investigation was sparked by a report by Israel’s Channel 10 last year, in which it was specifically claimed that Packer had paid for Netanyahu’s son Yair to go on several luxury holidays, and leant him his private jet to travel to them. It’s also claimed that Packer gave Sara Netanyahu and the head of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, Yossi Cohen, free tickets to see Carey perform live in August 2015.

Carey and Packer ended their relationship in October last year, and she has now returned to the country alone to promote her new partnership with skincare brand Premier Dead Sea Cosmetics. Although she quickly lost her grasp on that as the focus.

Asked at a press conference about the potential controversy of doing business in Israel, she said she was unconcerned, according to The Times Of Israel: “I’m not a political person. I don’t care what other people say about different political things that don’t pertain to my life. I don’t think it’s my place to act like a political figure. That’s not who I am”.

Asked then about the significance of her dinner with the Netanyahus, she replied: “What, I can’t eat anymore?”

Carey brushing off any suggestion that she might have political opinions did not deter other journalists though, as questions turned specifically to Packer. In an interview for Israel’s Channel 2 News, she was asked directly about her ex’s whereabouts.

“I don’t know where the motherfucker is”, she responded. “How am I supposed to know? I don’t know, for real. I really have no idea about the political stuff that goes on, I don’t pay attention to it”.

The singer’s media tour went downhill from there. An interview on TV show ‘Erev Tov’ was shut down by her PR team after Packer was again raised. Although not before Carey had said: “Oh, now they want to blame me? Someone wants to blame me for something now? What did I do? I didn’t do anything”.

A further public engagement last night was cancelled, and Carey is now reportedly cutting her planned week-long trip short – returning to the US as soon as all contractual obligations are fulfilled, including a photocall at the Dead Sea with her twin sons.

The latest reports suggest Packer has now agreed to be interviewed by Israeli police. So perhaps Carey will stop being dogged by questions about him if she does stay in the country.