Singing superstar Mariah Carey is being sued in New York for $1.25m by her older sister Alison Carey, who says she has been caused “immense emotional distress” by  Mariah’s memoir ‘The Meaning of Mariah’.

In the book, which was published last September, the singer writes about growing up with her sister, who is 8 years older than her.

Alison Carey claims the book accuses her of giving Mariah Valium when she was 12, and throwing a cup of boiling tea on her causing third-degree burns. In the book Mariah also recounts going on a car ride with one of Alison’s boyfriends who she says was carrying a gun and claims Alison’s boyfriend tried to kiss Mariah.  Alison disputes the allegations.

In the lawsuit Alison states that Mariah presented no evidence to substantiate her claims, calling the allegations “outrageous” and Mariah’s behaviour “heartless, vicious, vindictive, despicable and totally unnecessary public humiliation”. She says Mariah published the book without giving her an opportunity to respond. The lawsuit also refers to Mariah “callously” dismissing Alison as her “ex” sister. In the book Mariah describes Alison as “brilliant and broken.”

Alison says that she was already struggling with trauma from her childhood, having suffered with PTSD, anxiety and depression for years and that she suffers from a traumatic brain injury after an attack during a break-in at her home in 2015. The lawsuit claims that, despite knowing her problems and that she is “penniless”, Mariah used her status as a public figure to make lurid claims and promote her book. Alison says that since the publication of the book she is depressed and “uncharacteristically tearful” and that she is now struggling with alcohol abuse again after being clean for a long time.

Alison is representing herself. Mariah has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

Mariah Carey was born in Huntingdon New York into a bi-racial family. In addition to her sister Alison, she has an older brother, Morgan. Mariah’s parents divorced when she was young. She is known for her five-octave vocal range and is one of the best-selling artists of all time. Her biggest hits include “Hero”, “Always Be My Baby” and perennial Christmas favourite “All I Want for Christmas is You”. ‘The Meaning of Mariah’ is the singer’s first memoir.