Mariah Carey increased security in feud with fellow 'Idol' judge

(Offensive language in paragraph 6)

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Pop diva Mariah Carey said she

hired increased security following what she described as threats

reportedly made against her by fellow 'American Idol' judge

Nicki Minaj, according to an interview on ABC News.

Carey, 42, one of three new judges to join the "American

Idol" panel for the hit talent show's new season on Jan. 16,

told Barbara Walters in an interview airing on Monday, "it felt

like an unsafe work environment."

"Anytime anybody's reeling threats at somebody, you know,

it's not appropriate," Carey said.

"I'm a professional. I'm not used to that type of

environment," she said, adding that she hired extra security.

The diva was alluding to widely reported tension between her

and Minaj, who were seen arguing with one another in a video

from the show's audition phase.

Walters has reported that, according to Carey, others on the

"Idol" set heard Minaj go further and say, off-camera, "If I had

a gun, I would shoot that bitch."

Minaj, a Trinidadian-born singer and songwriter, previously

denied making any remarks about firearms, but Carey told Walters

that beefing up her security "was the appropriate thing to do."

"Sitting there on the road with two babies, I'm not going to

take any chances," she said, referring to her 20-month old twins

with husband Nick Cannon.

But in a sign of media savvy, she noted that "for all the

drama, I hope it helps the show."

Walters also asked Carey about reports she is being paid $18

million for each "Idol" season.

"I think we're in the ballpark, (but) I can't even talk

about those things," the singer replied.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Paul

Simao)