Mariah Carey’s new boyfriend, James Packer, is one of the richest men in Australia, one with a long line of famous girlfriends and a history with one of the world’s most controversial religions.
The singer has been spotted with the Australian media mogul, who has a net worth of more than $4 billion. Sources claim that Packer has been pursuing Carey for months, and they recently went public with their romance during a vacation trip to Italy. They were seen strolling through the streets together and were later photographed aboard Packer’s yacht.
The relationship was reportedly a long time coming. It started last year, when James Packer was vacationing in his villa in Aspen, Colorado, with friend and business partner Brett Ratner, who also happens to be friends with Mariah Carey and is a producer of some of her music videos.
Whether by chance or by design, Carey came up to Aspen to visit Ratner. But neither Carey nor Packer were in a position to start a relationship, the Daily Telegraph explained.
“At the time, Carey was married to successful U.S. rapper Nick Cannon, while Packer was still getting over his divorce from model Erica Baxter just months earlier.
“While that first meeting was purely platonic, there was an undeniable connection between the pair.
“They forged an instant friendship that lasted through both of their marriage breakdowns.”
There were actually rumors that Mariah Carey was dating Ratner, but it turns out it was his friend James Packer really moving in on the singer the whole time.
The couple now appears ready to go public. Sources say Mariah planned to be spotted with Packer during their Italian vacation as a way to make the relationship official.
“It was going to be impossible to keep it secret so they decided to get it out there,” a source said, via the Daily Telegraph. “They’ve been together for a few weeks.”
While Carey may be more well-known, at least among the general public, James Packer is a bit of a playboy himself. He’s been married to swimsuit model Jodhi Meares, and model and singer Erica Baxter.
James Packer also has some famous friends. After his first marriage fell apart in 2002, he started hanging out with Tom Cruise at the Church of Scientology in Australia, and even took some classes at a church center. Though he spoke positively of the experience at the time, Packer later distanced himself from the church.
The relationship with James Packer is the first relationship for Mariah Carey since she broke up with husband Nick Cannon.
[Image via Getty Images/Ethan Miller]