Carey joined the 41-year-old Duchess of Sussex for an episode titled “The Duality of Diva with Mariah Carey,” and the legendary singer stopped Markle in her tracks with an offhand comment about her own forays into diva-hood.
Carey is certainly well known for embracing the label “diva” — she told The Guardian in 2020: “Who the f*** cares? Honestly! ‘Oh my God, they’re calling me a diva – I think I’m going to cry!’ You think in the grand scheme of things in my life that really matters to me, being called a diva? I am, b****es, that’s right.”
And when Markle suggested that she didn’t really “connect” with the diva-type, Carey abruptly called her out.
“You give us diva moments sometimes, Meghan, don’t even act like — don’t like —” she began.
“What kind of diva moments did I give you?” Markle asked.
Carey appeared to pick up on Markle’s discomfort, and said that she had been referring more to the actress’ “visual” presentation than any personality traits or behavior.
“I know, but let’s pretend that you didn’t — weren’t so beautiful and didn’t have the whole thing and didn’t often have gorgeous ensembles,” Carey explained. “You wouldn’t get, maybe get as much diva stuff. I don’t care. I’m like, ‘When I can, I’m going to give you diva.’”
“She must have felt my nervous laughter,” Markle said of the exchange once the interview was over. “She jumped right in to make sure I was crystal clear that when she said diva, she was talking about the way I dress, the posture, the clothing.”
“She meant diva as a compliment, but I heard it as a dig,” Markle added, noting that she had felt like she was being accused of something — and that the thought had made her extremely uncomfortable. “That moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as inspirational.”
“It was all going swimmingly, really well, until that moment happened,” she recalled. “It stopped me in my tracks,” the actress added. “My mind was just genuinely spinning on what nonsense she might have read or clicked on to make her say that … I just kept thinking in that moment: Is my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me?”
Markle explained her “girl crush” earlier in the podcast, saying that she had seen Carey as a role model growing up biracial: “Oh, gosh, someone looks like me!”