Mariah Carey Won’t Let Fans Touch Her For More Than Five Seconds?

Truth rating: 0
Mariah Carey

By Gossip Cop Staff |

Mariah Carey

(Getty Images)

Does Mariah Carey have a rule about not letting fans touch or hug her for more than five seconds? That’s the claim from one of this week’s tabloids. But Gossip Cop looked into it, and we’ve discovered it’s untrue.

Star reports, “Fans, and everyone else for that matter, should look at but not touch famous folks like Mariah Carey.” The magazine maintains the singer “freaks when pesky peeps get a little too close for comfort and put their hands on her.” The outlet contends a Carey “pal” leaks, “Mariah invokes what she calls her five-second rule.” Asserts the alleged insider, “She silently counts to five in her head, then time’s up.” And if someone holds on to her longer, claims the source, “She totally flips a switch” and tells those who get “handsy” to “keep their paws to themselves.”

It should be noted that hugs follow a 3-second rule, according to a study, and generally do not last longer. A scientific report concluded that most “human actions and neurological processes” take place in “series of 3-second windows” and that hugging longer than that is awkward. So, if Carey did have a rule about not touching her for more than five seconds, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for her or anybody else. That said, Carey does not set a time limit on how long fans can hug her, says her rep, who was authorized to speak on her behalf. Carey’s spokesperson further assures Gossip Cop the tabloid’s claim is “not true.”

One would also think that the magazine would’ve checked to see if the singer is adverse to touching people before publishing its unnamed source’s contentions. Apparently, it did not. For instance, on Carey’s reality E! show, “Mariah’s World,” she was seen holding a fan’s hand for more than five seconds when he gave her a cross with a diamond. And in another video that Carey herself made, the singer gave a fan in China, who drove 23 hours to meet her, a very long hug. Far from telling them to “keep their paws to themselves,” Carey was very appreciative.

Gossip Cop is not entirely surprised by the falsity of the magazine’s claim since we’ve previously busted the tabloid for its reporting about Carey. We called out the publication, for example, when its wrongly asserted Carey asked Britney Spears to be her personal trainer. Much like that tale, this latest article about Carey counting how long people can hug her doesn’t add up either.

Conclusion: Carey does not have a rule about banning fans from touching or hugging her for five seconds. While a major study concluded people on the average only hug for three seconds before it becomes uncomfortable, the singer has repeatedly been seen holding and embracing her fans for five seconds without a problem. Additionally, as opposed to the tabloid’s one unidentified “source,” Carey’s rep, speaking on her behalf, tells Gossip Cop on the record the magazine’s report is not true. Mostly, though, because there’s video to categorically prove the tabloid is wrong, we’ve rated its story as “fiction.”

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Mariah Carey has a rule about not letting fans touch or hug her for more than five seconds.


Kessler, Rebecca. “Hugs Follow a 3-Second Rule.” Science Magazine, 29 Jan. 2011.

Friedman, Uri. “How Long Can You Hug Someone Before It's Awkward?” The Atlantic, 1 Feb. 2011.

Nicole Perna, spokesperson for Mariah Carey, 5 Sept. 2018

E! Entertainment. “Mariah Carey Gets an Incredible Gift From Fan" On 'Mariah's World.' YouTube, 29 Dec. 2016.

“Mariah Carey Surprises a Fan in China!” YouTube, 21 Oct. 2014.

Shuster, Andrew. “Mariah Carey Begging Britney Spears To Be Personal Trainer?” Gossip Cop, 11 Oct. 2017.