Three years ago, Mariah Carey filled The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas nearly to capacity on opening night of her career retrospective residency. This year, insiders are deeply concerned box office sales for the July 5 opening performance of her "Butterfly Returns" residency, scheduled to run for three months.
"It's a disaster," a source tells the New York Post. "Scalpers bought a bunch of the tix and are freaking out."
According to the source, Mariah's former manager, Stella Bulochnikov, had planned to book dates at a venue with a smaller capacity "so they could keep announcing sold-out shows …Instead, they put her back in Caesars with 4,300 seats."
Mariah fired Stella last fall, along with a slew of other reps and employees. After the singer revealed a few months later that she suffers from bipolar disorder, Stella, who had been extremely tight with Mariah for many years, accused her of sexual harassment and filed documents claiming she intended to sue over money Stella claims she was owed from her tenure with the star.
Mariah's now represented by JAY-Z's talent management group.
It's conceivable, of course, that Stella or one of her minions leaked the ticket sales info to the Post.
Mariah's current publicist has denied the claim and a rep for Live Nation, which is handling the ticket sales, said the company is "very pleased" with box office reports thus far.
"These allegations are false and come from a source that must be desperate to pretend to be in the know," the publicist told the Post, adding, "Look forward to seeing you at the Vegas show — if you can get a seat!"
The same publicist reportedly dismissed rumors Mariah's having money problems after she sold the multi-million dollar engagement ring James Packer had given her prior to their split.
Meanwhile, the Post reports those who had been in Mariah's inner circle before she cleaned house are worried about her, given her history of mental health issues.
"Isn't it time for an intervention?" asked one insider. "Where is her knight in shining armor?"
Mimi seems to be feeling positive about the Vegas shows if her recent tweets are any indication: On Saturday, June 2, she posted a poll asking fans to vote on songs they'd like her to include in her setlist in Las Vegas.
Neither Mariah nor her exes, Tommy Mattola and Nick Cannon, responded to requests for a comment from the Post.