Nick Cannon is opening up about his battle with lupus and sharing how his ex-wife, Mariah Carey, played a pivotal part in his recovery.
The Masked Singer host and Carey began dating in the early 2000s, getting hitched in April 2008 after a whirlwind romance of six weeks. The couple welcomed fraternal twins, son Moroccan and daughter Monroe, in April 2011. The pair wound up getting divorced in 2016.
During an appearance on The Diary Of A CEO podcast, the 42-year-old recalled how Carey helped him when he was diagnosed with lupus in 2012.
“She was my rock,” Cannon told podcast host Steven Bartlett. “She went hard. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for how hard she went with the doctors, with me, my stubbornness.”
The father of 12 described his ex-wife as “the perfect helpmate, the perfect matriarch, the perfect mom, the perfect wife in those scenarios.”
Cannon praised the now-54-year-old superstar for taking on “all of my stuff” while also juggling the duties of being a global sensation and a mother to their young twins. “It probably took a toll on us just because of the person I was in my head and the struggles that I was dealing with,” he added. “But it definitely brought us closer together.”
When asked by Bartlett if he truly believes Carey saved his life, Cannon wholeheartedly answered, “I absolutely do.”
“But that’s what you do when you find a helpmate. When you find someone that you’re in matrimony with, you go hard for [them],” he added. “I feel like I went hard for her and we’ll still go hard — I lay down my life for her today. That’s what you do, it’s just family.”
The comedian also confessed that he struggled with his mental health after the diagnosis, questioning what life was about and whether he had “wasted” his time on Earth until that point. “If I get another shot, what am I gonna do?” he recalled asking himself.
Cannon shared that because of his battle with lupus, he values his time with his children much more reverently, having wondered if he would be alive for his children and contemplating what his legacy would be when he was sick.
He recalled: “Staring up from the hospital bed, staring at the ceiling all alone when everybody else is kicked out, and you gotta be face to face with your higher power, asking all those tough questions. Am I done? A lot of people don’t do that because we get caught up in the constant race of just living day to day, but it slowed down for me on many occasions.”
“I’m probably reminded of my physical mortality all the time,” Cannon added. “And when you’re not afraid of dying, you focus on living, you know? Anyone who’s ever had a near-death experience or anyone who’s been in those quiet places of dealing with thoughts of the afterlife and what this current life was for you, you live the rest of your days differently.”
The Daily Cannon host shares twins, Moroccan and Monroe, with Carey, Rise, Powerful, and Golden, with Brittany Bell, as well as Beautiful, Zion and Zillion, with Abby De La Rosa. The youngest of his kids are Halo, with Alyssa Scott, along with Legendary, with Bre Tiesi, and Onyx, with LaNisha Cole. He also welcomed his late son, Zen, with Scott.
He’s always been exceptionally candid about his large family, regularly making headlines as he shares how he tries to be present in all of his children’s lives.
Cannon has also always spoken highly of his ex-wife, explaining to ET back in July 2022 why he refers to his marriage with the singer as a “fantasy love.”
“I was talking about the fantasy of it all. I was like, ‘Yo, if I could have that same vibe of where I was at that state in my life and that age, of course I would do that all over again,'” he explained. “But I’m not.”
He added, “Clearly, there is a lot going on in my life now that’s completely different from that.”
As for whether the door is still open or “at least cracked” for him to get back together with Carey, Cannon quipped, “Mariah don’t want me. I just show up will all my thousand kids, like, ‘Hey, I’m back.'”
“We’re still close friends, the best of friends, great parents together. I appreciate that time in my life,” Cannon said, explaining where he stands with Carey currently. “Obviously we’ve all grown and evolved and went separate ways. But it was still like the biggest fantasy of my life.”
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