Mariah Carey has hired extra security and "doesn't feel comfortable" at the American Idol auditions after show staffers told her that fellow judge Nicki Minaj muttered, "If I had a gun, I would shoot the [woman]," after the two divas argued, ABC's Barbara Walters reported yesterday morning.
"Nicki is unpredictable, and Mariah says she can't take a chance," Walters - the sometime ABC News personality, sometime The View den mother - said.
It all started overnight Tuesday when the celebrity suck-up site TMZ published leaked video from the Fox singing competition's auditions in Charlotte. Minaj and Carey are seen exchanging heated words after disagreeing about an auditioner's performance.
"Think I'm playin'? Think this [s***] is a [f******] joke?" Minaj is seen saying, kicking off an obscenity-laced rant. She adds: "If you say one more disrespectful thing to me - off with your head!"
Idol exec producer Nigel Lythgoe insisted that one report - which said Minaj threatened Carey after Tuesday's taped dust-up - was "absolute rubbish." He knows this because "Mariah confronted Nicki" on Wednesday, asking whether she made the threat, and "Nicki said, 'Absolutely not.' "
Walters reported quite the opposite on Thursday. At the top of The View, Walters explained that she'd spoken to Carey on the phone, noting that she's become friendly with the pop singer from interviewing her over the years. Walters said, "I did the first interview with her twins" - when they were about 6 months old and, presumably, did not have much to say.
In the course of that phone call, Carey "said she's very concerned. . . . She's with her twins. . . . I'm quoting now - 'Nicki is unpredictable,' " Walters said.
"Mariah says she can't take a chance and she's hired extra security."
Minaj has not apologized for the obscenity-riddled incident and, after a meeting with show producers, told Carey, "I love you, but we might fight again," Walters reported, citing Carey as her source.
To which Carey responded, "No, we will not," Walters reported.
"She obviously still has serious concerns," Walters said of Carey.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck noted that even if Minaj was just blowing off steam, her fans might take the gun suggestion literally. Hasselbeck suggested that Minaj should make some sort of statement "that she could release to those that really love Nicki, to just not to try to take their own action in any way - as a means of protecting Mariah."
Minaj did make a statement. Several of them. On Twitter:
"Hey yAll. Lets just say nicki said smthn about a gun. ppl will believe it cuz she's a black rapper. Lmao [sic]," Minaj tweeted on Thursday afternoon.
"I'll then hit up Barbara n milk it," Minaj tweeted, channeling Carey.
Minaj also tweeted: "Ironically no camera or mic heard the gun comment tho. Lol @ the struggle."
Then, addressing Carey, she tweeted, "Not even the producers believed u."
In fairness, Minaj added, "Say no to violence."
"As if you would need a gun anyway," one of her fans tweeted in response.
Another fan wondered/tweeted: "but how come Barbara ain't called you to find out YOUR side of the story? WHAT KIND OF JOURNALISM?"
(During The View, Walters said, "If Nicki wants to call anyone, I'm sure we'd be happy to take the phone call.")
Instead, Minaj tweeted: "I don't call tmz n Barbara Walters cuz I stand on my own two feet. Never needed an army. God is good. Insecurity is as cruel as the grave."
Actually, Minaj did go on The View - last week, when she needed an army to launch her new perfume, Pink Friday.
"I guess it hurts 2 have the producers tell u to ur face that nicki is the best judge we've had since simon," Minaj tweeted to Carey after "The View" broadcast.
Fox declined to comment. At press time Thursday, "Idol" producers had not responded to an e-mail request seeking comment.