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Although Mariah Carey is one of the most successful pop stars of all time — she's worth $520 million and has a laundry list of awards and achievements to her name — her sister, Alison Carey, who bears a striking resemblance to the celebrity, has lived a far darker life. The 55-year-old mother-of-four has struggled with drug addiction for decades, even turning to prostitution.
Over the years, she's pleaded to Mariah through the media for monetary help, stating that she doesn't have enough money to support her children. How did the siblings become so estranged? The sisters' rocky history has been going on for longer than most fans probably realize. Below, a complete rundown of what went wrong.
What happened to Alison Carey?
Her 2005 mugshot. (Photo Credit: Splash)
Alison's struggles began before Mariah became a star. The sisters grew up on Long Island, but when their parents separated in 1973, when Alison was 11 and Mariah was three, Alison went to live with their father and Mariah lived with their mother. In a 1995 TV interview, Alison said she and her sister were raised very differently, which made her "jealous."
“My parents made me say, 'I am an interracial child,' which is going to alienate you right there," Alison, who has a black father and a white mother, said in the interview. "My mother said, 'Nothing like that will happen with Mariah. I won't let that happen.’ So they moved and Mariah became Italian and Irish."
At 15, Alison became pregnant. She got married and dropped out of high school a year later and then turned to the streets to help make ends meet. Around this time, she also became addicted to drugs. "Nobody wanted to hire me," she said back in 1995 as to why she turned to prostitution. "I didn’t have any experience doing anything. I knew I had to get a job, but I couldn’t find one." When she was 28, she got tested and found out she was HIV-positive.
Mariah rarely speaks about her sister, but she did once back in 1998.
(Photo Credit: YouTube)
Mariah, who only speaks through her reps when it comes to addressing family drama, made a rare comment about her struggling sister during a 1998 interview on 20/20. "It was a very difficult thing to see," Mariah said about her sister's issues with drugs. "But I think what it did for me was provide for me an inner strength and...something I knew that I didn’t want to be. That’s why I’ll never be a promiscuous person, I’ll never be on drugs, I’ll never be too out of it to know what I’m doing or getting myself into. And because I saw all these things growing up, I went the other way.”
Why doesn't Mariah help her sister out?
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Although Alison has publically begged for Mariah's help numerous times, according to Mariah's reps, the singer has been supporting her sister "for decades," including paying for Alison's numerous stints in rehab. In 1994, Alison confirmed that this was true.
"Yes, she did [pay for rehab]," Alison said, "but she has never let me forget one single cent she has ever spent on me." In 2005, when Alison was arrested for prostitution again, sources close to Mariah told The New York Post that the singer was "looking for Alison to want to help herself" and that she didn't want to "enable" her sister's behavior.
Mariah's brother still doesn't think the singer is doing enough.
(Photo Credit: YouTube)
In 2016, Morgan Carey, Mariah's brother, started speaking out against the singer, even going so far as to call her "evil" for not doing enough to help her sister. "Your sister is dying and she is struggling and where are you?" he told The Sun. "You think you are so fabulous, but you are a witch... She is evil." He later told Inside Edition that same year that the pop star only "cares about herself." He said, "I would hope Mariah could find it in her heart to forgive Alison for her transgressions and step up, create a trust, let’s make sure Alison’s needs are met."
Alison released a video in 2015 pleading for Mariah's help.
(Photo Credit: YouTube)
In 2015, when a home invasion attack left her needing expensive brain and spine surgery, Alison pleaded for Mariah's help. "Mariah I love you, and I desperately need your help," she said in a video published by The Daily Mail. "Please don’t abandon me like this."
After the attack, which left her severely brain damaged, Alison was checked into a mental hospital. Morgan told The Daily Mail that Alison was showing "problematic behavior" due to not getting adequate medical care.
"Alison was institutionalized for observation after being found wandering in the street barefoot and partially dressed, causing the police to be concerned," he said. "Her behavior was caused as a result of damage done in the attack and her having missed the medications she was taking."
Morgan pleaded, once again, that although Alison had made a lot of mistakes in her life, he hoped Mariah would step in and save her. "The worst is yet to come and Mariah has it in her power to at least ensure a soft landing and avoid a lifetime of regret about missing this opportunity to forgive and help her only sister."
Alison's singing voice actually isn't that bad.
TMZ obtained an old 1996 video of Alison showing off her musical chops — and she's not bad! It makes you wonder how things might've been for her if she went down a different path in life.
Where is Mariah Carey's sister now?
(Photo Credit: Splash)
As of January 2017, Alison has been staying at a women's sobriety house, according to HVNN.com, where she's now drug-free and working on a book about her childhood that'll be about racism and the occult, which she says will be "shocking to people."
"There were a lot of really bad things happening," she said in the interview. "Being drug-free makes things easier to remember — to know it’s not something I’m making up or dreaming about. This is real stuff."
In the same interview, she hints that the "shocking stuff" happening to her as a young girl was the real reason she left home at such a young age. “I’m not the only woman who’s gone through those types of horrific, unbelievably frightening things,” she said. “I left the country at 15 to get married just to get away and escape. It was such bad stuff, but there are many other people who have gone through similar things, and they’ve been afraid to mention them to anyone and having someone write a book who says, ‘That happened to me, too,’ can make it better and make them feel safe.”