Mariah Carey has hit out at claims she left Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony because organisers wouldn't allow her onstage with the President - insisting over-enthusiastic fans forced her to flee for her own safety.
The singer was reported to have walked away from the Washington D.C. event on 20 January (09) after discovering she would be sat with other celebrities, instead of standing alongside Obama on the podium.
A source told the New York Post, "Mariah was in the VIP area, where every celebrity, like Jon Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and Bruce Springsteen, was seated.
"But somehow she thought she'd be up with the Obama family. When she realised she wasn't, she bailed."
But the singer has spoken out to silence the gossip, insisting she and her husband Nick Cannon were hounded out of their spot in the crowd by fans.
Carey's representative tells People magazine, "When she and Nick arrived in their section, she was surrounded by fans, but unfortunately it caused too much of a ruckus and it became a little unsafe. She was then escorted to safety by police."