Mariah Carey is appearing on “Nightline” Monday evening (Jan. 7) in a special interview with Barbara Walters. The new “American Idol” judge opens up about the work situation with fellow new judge Nicki Minaj.

“It felt like an unsafe work environment. Anytime anybody’s reeling threats at somebody, you know, it’s not appropriate. I’m a professional. I’m not used to that type of environment,” says Carey.

As a result, Carey tells Walters she hired more security.

“I just felt it was the appropriate thing to do. Sitting there on the road with two babies, I’m not going to take any chances,” Carey says.

But Carey hopes the behind-the-scenes drama doesn’t hurt “Idol.”

“For all the drama, I hope it helps the show. I think it’s a classic, classy show and it didn’t need this,” she concludes. “For me, ultimately, this is about the kids, the contestants. I’ve been blessed to live my dream more than half my life, so I want help give that back to someone else.”

“American Idol” premieres its 12th season starting Jan. 16 on FOX.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."