Things You Didn't Know About Janet Jackson's Husband

Volumes upon volumes of books could be written about Janet Jackson and her incredibly famous family. The dramas, the divorces, the children, the financial issues, and the secrets could keep anyone entertained for weeks on end.

However, out of all of her siblings, Janet has kept the lowest profile relative to her massive success, which was eclipsed only by her brother, Michael Jackson. The soft-spoken, hard-bodied singer keeps her private life extremely private, and that extended to her marriage to under-the-radar Qatari billionaire businessman Wissam Al Mana.

The couple tied the knot in 2012 and welcomed a son, Eissa, in January 2017, before announcing that the marriage was over in April 2017. Little was known about these two, but Al Mana proved particularly elusive during their five years together, and since their separation, he's been even more mysterious. 

So who is the elusive Mr. Moneybags who stole Janet Jackson's heart — and, some would argue, her freedom?

Wissam Al Mana is worth a lot of money

Janet Jackson's husband is a self-made businessman worth a staggering $1 billion. According to The Richest, Wissam Al Mana is the director of Al Mana Group's retail division, which includes luxury companies Hermes and Agent Provocateur. The company is also a shareholder in Saks Fifth Avenue stores centered in Middle-Eastern locations such as Dubai, Doha, Bahrain, and Kuwait. "I oversee new developments and I'm constantly working on interesting projects, one of them in design. I'm also pursuing an art project, and i'm involved in several charities," he told VMAN magazine (via Yahoo!).

Al Mana's fortune will probably grow in the future, too. He, along with his two brothers, reportedly manage the massive company, which is comprised of more than 50 individual businesses, ranging from real estate, to car dealerships and food services. Leading the family business is not a job Al Mana takes lightly. He told Entrepreneur Middle East that he's working hard to honor his father's memory.

"My father passed away when I was quite young, and I felt that it was my duty to kind of pick up the flag and to continue the business, and try to continue the legacy and the family name," he said. "It's in our blood, we're merchants. When I was a child, I looked at my father's passport and his occupation said 'Merchant.' I asked my mom, and she explained that we are merchants. We take pride in that, it's our heritage."

Wissam Al Mana is very private

Few people had heard of Wissam Al Mana before he became known to the world as Janet Jackson's husband. That's because he prides himself on staying out the spotlight and out of the headlines. 

"I don't have Facebook, I don't have Twitter," he told Entrepreneur Middle East. "I don't have anything, because believe it or not I'm a very, very private person! I don't even have WhatsApp! I don't like to pry into people's business."

Wanting privacy while dating a woman as famous as Janet Jackson may seem impossible, but even during the early stages of their relationship in 2010, Al Mana and Jackson managed to blend in just like any other couple. Of their trip to Sardinia that summer, an onlooker told Us Weekly, "They were fairly inconspicuous. Just like any of the other dozens of couples at the hotel. She hung onto his arm when they walked through the lobby in the morning and he kissed her on the head after lunch. They seemed very tender with each other."

Insiders also told the magazine that the Middle-Eastern hunk stays out of trouble. "Sam's (his nickname) well-known on the VIP scene in Dubai, but he's not a playboy, he's a good man," the source said. "He's rarely had serious relationships so publicly... He's just a man of religion and morals." And speaking of which...

Religion impacts Wissam Al Mana's business decisions

Speaking to Entrepreneur Middle East, Wissam Al Mana revealed that his company only works with brands that adhere to Muslim religion values, a decision he personally made. 

"One of the cultural restraints I'm finding is that we don't want to work or deal with alcohol for cultural and religious reasons. So it's trying to find the concepts that will work without actually serving it ..." he said. "It was my choice not to venture into alcohol and pork because it's against my religion. It's really that simple — I thought it was the right decision to take. I think it's the easy way out to secure brands which serve alcohol, because alcohol makes up 30% to 40% of the profit."

Incidentally, Janet Jackson reportedly converted to Islam in 2015, according to CBS News.

Wissam Al Mana inspired Janet Jackson's music, but hurt her career

It's no secret that Janet Jackson was in deep, deep love with Wissam Al Mana while they were together. Case in point: When she announced her long-awaited musical comeback in June 2015, she dedicated her first single "No Sleep" to her husband, tweeting simply of the track, "I dedicate this to my love."

Unfortunately for fans, however, Jackson and Al Mana's deep love for each other put a major, albeit understandable, dent in Jackson's Unbreakable World Tour. As Us Weekly reported in April 2016, Jackson's unexpected pregnancy forced her to postpone the tour's North American dates.

Jackson announced the bittersweet news to fans through a Facebook video. "Hey, you guys. On August 31, I launched the Unbreakable World Tour," she said (via Us Weekly). "First, I just want to thank all the fans for coming out to see the show. We're in the second leg of the tour and there actually has been a sudden change. I thought it was important that you would be the first to know ... My husband and I are planning our family, so I'm going to have to delay the tour."

Janet Jackson wasn't after Wissam Al Mana's money

An insider told Page Six that Wissam Al Mana and Janet Jackson's prenuptial agreement entitled Jackson to $100 million of Al Mana's moolah if they remained married for at least five years. The couple married in 2012, so the separation clocked in at almost exactly the five-year mark. What's more, the prenup promised that the $100 million sum would be doubled to a cool $200 million if they had a child — which they did, just months before announcing their marriage was dunzo.

Despite the almost suspiciously convenient timing of son Eissa's birth and the couple's divorce filing, sources close to Jackson say she wasn't after Al Mana's money. When you keep in mind that TMZ estimates Jackson's own worth to be roughly $175 million, that becomes more believable — she was beyond set for life before she even met the guy.

"It looks like a money grab but it's not about money," a relative of the "Control" singer told Page Six. "She's never in a relationship too long. Her longest was Rene [Elizondo], and that was for 10 years. Marriage doesn't agree with her. She doesn't agree with marriage."

Janet Jackson couldn't adapt to Wissam Al Mana's strict culture

A source told Page Six, "She loves to be in control. She ceded that control [in her marriage] and she was not happy about it. She wants to get back to being Janet Jackson and not Mrs. Wissam Al Mana or being the obedient Muslim wife."

An insider echoed that sentiment to People, noting, "They separated shortly after the baby was born. The cultural differences between her and Wissam became even more obvious [after Eissa arrived]. They come from very different worlds." The source added, "For years, Janet tried to adapt to his culture. Since it's not a culture she grew up with, it's been challenging for her. She often felt she disappointed Wissam."

"Janet and Wissam don't see eye to eye on many things," a source told E! News. "One of the many divorcing factors was their religious beliefs. Wissam and Janet did not feel that they were on the same page when it came to this and the way they wanted their child to get raised. Janet is more of a free spirit than Wissam. Cultural difference and backgrounds played a major role."

Did Wissam Al Mana keep Janet Jackson from her loved ones?

Wissam Al Mana's devotion to his religion allegedly caused issues in his marriage to Janet Jackson, and some felt that he was over controlling of the "Control" singer as a result.

"Wissam wanted a wife who stuck more with the Muslim traditions," a source told Us Weekly. "Even before the baby was born, they clashed and butted heads a lot. She felt like she couldn't be herself anymore ... she thought her career was suffering, and she started resenting Wissam for it. She couldn't settle down and be what he wanted her to be. Janet wanted more freedom."

A source told Page Six that Jackson is well on her way to getting her life back. Movers were spotted in front of her London home in April 2018, and an insider dished, "She wanted the locks changed a few weeks ago, and no keys for him."

Janet Jackson's family accused Wissam Al Mana of abusing her

Some insiders claim Wissam Al Mana was abusive to Janet Jackson.

"Wissam is a very strong minded individual and can come across being hard headed and judgmental at times," a source told E! News. "Janet started not to feel comfortable around her husband. While she was pregnant Wissam caused stress on Janet and it affected her stress level ... She didn't tell many people about this toxic relationship till after. Her family was never a big fan of her husband. She lost confidence in herself along the way."

Janet's own brother, Randy Jackson (above), told People, "It was quite an abusive situation. It came on later in the relationship, verbal abuse and being a prisoner in her own home. No pregnant woman needs to go through being called a b***h everyday." He added, "I told her, 'You've got to move in with me or I'm going to go over there and there's going to be hell.'  ... I have a lot of Muslim friends and they don't act that way at all ... I'm not going to allow her to live in that abusive situation. She's my baby sister."

Al Mana denied those allegations. His rep issued a statement (via People): "Mr. Al Mana is not going to dignify these particular and deeply hurtful allegations with a response. The breakdown of his marriage to Janet Jackson is a cause of great sadness to Mr. Al Mana, and it is the wellbeing and privacy of their son, Eissa, that remains his sole focus."

Janet Jackson was brought to tears when she tried moving on

After Janet Jackson announced her split from Wissam Al Mana, she went back on tour and was extremely emotional throughout. At a particular performance in Houston, Texas, in September 2017, Jackson broke down in tears at the end of her song "What About."

Jackson's brother, Randy Jackson, told People his sister had been weeping over her divorce and the abuse she allegedly endured during her marriage. "What you saw in Houston, it was her situation coming out, what she's been going through," he said. "The abuse is still going on. She has custody and he of course allowed her to bring the baby on tour, but it's constant harassment. This tour almost didn't happen, but by the grace of God we're here and we're very prayerful ... It's not about anger or vengeance. [Janet] wants Eissa to have a mother and a father. We don't like to put our business out there but sometimes transparency helps you. The devil thrives in darkness. I'm just here supporting her through this time."

Wissam Al Mana still loves Janet Jackson

Despite the reportedly acrimonious dissolution of their marriage, it appears that Janet Jackson's estranged husband remains rather enamored with her. In a missive posted to his own website on April 14, 2017, Wissam Al Mana wrote, "To the most beautiful person in the world, thank you for your divine love, your eternal support and for being my best friend.I love you so much, inshallah we will be together in the Great Forever x."

He also posted a passage from the Quran that read, "You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and indeed you shall hear many hurtful things from those to whom revelation was granted before your time, as well as from those who have come to ascribe divinity to other beings beside Allah. But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him — this, behold, is something to set one's heart upon. — 3:186."