In an interview with Oprah, Mariah says that she was attracted to Jeter’s mixed background and admired how his family made being bi-racial normal, whereas her’s was a mess.
“He was a catalyst that helped me get out of that relationship because I believed there was somebody else. It was the racial situation, his mom is Irish, his dad is Black. But he was also very ambiguous looking to me. I didn’t know who he was, we met and I’ve written songs about it,” she explained. ” I don’t think it was like, ‘Oh my god, he was the love of my life.’ Like, at the time I did, because I didn’t think I would ever meet anybody who wouldn’t…what’s the word? I used the word, I just thought about this last night. Not looked down on but feel superior to me because of the fact that I’m not one way or another in most people’s minds, and they have preconceived notions, whatever.
“His family was a healthy family and they changed my viewpoint that, ‘Oh, it’s because of the biracial situation that my family is so screwed up.’ As opposed to, ‘It’s them,'” she continued. “It was healthy for me to see a functional family that basically kind of looked like mine, but didn’t feel like mine.”