In April, the world learned that Janet Jackson’s marriage was over.
Though the music legend, 51, and billionaire Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, 42, had just welcomed son Eissa in January, Janet had made the shocking decision to move forward with a divorce.
On Sept. 12, People shed light on Janet’s alleged reasons for leaving Wissam, according to brother Randy Jackson. “There’s a lot of pain. Janet’s been through a lot with her divorce,” Randy told the magazine. “It was quite an abusive situation. It came on later in the relationship, verbal abuse and being [made to feel like] a prisoner in her own home. No pregnant woman needs to go through being called a b—- everyday. There were things like that. That’s what she went through.”
Wissam’s attorneys told People in a statement that he “is not going to dignify these particular and deeply hurtful allegations with a response,” adding, “The breakdown of his marriage to Janet Jackson is a cause of great sadness to Mr. Al Mana, and it is the well-being and privacy of their son, Eissa, that remains his sole focus.”
On Sept. 23, Page Six published a lengthy story headlined, “Inside Janet Jackson’s rocky marriage — and ugly split,” which features more revelations and allegations about what happened during the extremely private couple’s courtship and split. Here are six of the most fascinating claims:
1. Though they came from different worlds and Janet was nearly a decade older, when the Muslim-raised businessman and the pop star, who grew up in the Jehovah’s Witness faith, locked eyes after meeting at the opening of the Armani Hotel in Dubai in 2010, “It was one of those love-at-first-sight-type things,” a Jackson family source told Page Six. “They didn’t care about each other’s past.”
They kept their courtship incredibly private. “She’d buy him jackets with his initials inscribed and he’d order treats from Switzerland and other places as a way of saying ‘Good morning, sweetheart,'” the insider shared, adding that the couple courted over dinners in Russia, shopping trips in Italy and getaways on luxury yachts.
2. As they fell deeper in love, Janet started to change. She never converted to Islam, but, the family source told Page Six, Wissam’s friends noticed “Janet complying [with] Islamic traditions, including her dress with head coverings.” She also fasted “during times of spiritual reflection,” the New York Post column reported. Janet’s family noticed she was “not speaking out of turn when in the company of others. [Wissam] took the lead.”
3. In February 2013, they revealed they’d quietly married the previous year after about two years as a couple. They wanted to wed quickly, the family source told Page Six, because “He really wanted a baby and Janet was ready.” But Janet was already in her late 40s. “At least twice, she thought she was pregnant, and each time, she realized that she wasn’t, and I’m not sure who was more disappointed,” the family source explained, adding that the repeated bad news fueled tensions and led both to blame each other. They would “point the finger at one another as being the reason they couldn’t get pregnant,” the family source said.
4. Janet was still making music and touring, but Wissam reportedly didn’t want her in her usual sexy stage costumes, so she covered up. An employee told Page Six that when Janet was preparing to perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Wissam dominated rehearsals. “No skin, no dry humping and none of that American [stuff],” the employee said Wissam demanded.
5. Janet cancelled her “Unbreakable” tour in 2016 (she re-launched it in early September 2017 as the State of the World Tour) when she and Wissam finally got good news: She was pregnant at 49. But as things moved forward, the family source claimed, the “s— hit the fan. Janet usually ate well, exercised properly and kept herself looking good, but Wissam sort of freaked out, thinking she’d be this ‘fat pig.’ He was on her all the time about doing things right, eating right, as if she [weren’t] already.”
6. Son Eissa was born on Jan. 3. Not long after, Janet left Wissam with the help of her brother. The family source told Page Six that Randy orchestrated Janet leaving the London home she’d shared with her husband. Randy, the Post writes, “quietly arranged for their older sister Rebbie and mother Katherine to fly to London to visit Janet — and map a way out.” Her family gave her the strength she needed to “leave her controlling husband,” the family source claimed.