Mariah Carey says that she can relate to the domestic violence that Rihanna has experienced at the hands of ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.

In an interview with Larry King, the songbird empathized with the 21-year-old. "I was very sequestered when I first started out if I was just allowed to be young with a young boyfriend who's also a star," Carey said when weighing on the incident. "I don't know what goes on. I can't imagine what she went through."

When asked if she had ever been in an abusive relationship, Carey acknowledged that she had, but failed to reveal all of the details, as she is saving the story for a book she plans to write.

"Abuse has several categories. Emotionally, mentally -- many ways," she said growing visibly emotional. "It's scary. I just think you get into a situation and you feel locked in, if your situation is similar to one of the situations I've been in."

Of her five-year marriage to music mogul Tommy Mottola, who is almost 20 years her senior, Carey said, "For me to really get out, it was difficult because there was a connection that was not only a marriage, but a business thing." The couple split in 1997.

Although Carey has never openly discussed specific circumstances that led to the downfall of the relationship, she hinted at the mistreatment in her song 'Side Effects,' in which she chronicles an abusive relationship at the hands of a controlling older lover.

"Waking up scared some nights still dreaming 'bout them violent times," Carey sings in the song's chorus. "Still little protective 'bout the people that I let inside/ Still little defensive thinkin' 'bout me tryin' to run my life/ Still little depressed inside, I fake a smile and deal with the side effects."

According to Carey, her personal experiences provided inspiration for her character in the film 'Precious,' in which she plays a social worker counseling a teenager who is abused by her mother. Already grabbing rave reviews and Oscar buzz, the film is based on the gripping 1996 novel 'Push,' by Sapphire, and stars comedian Mo'Nique and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in the title role.

'Precious' opens Friday (November 6) in select U.S. cities.