The two met “at Dubai’s Armani Hotel opening in 2010,” and “they couldn’t be more different,” The Post notes, adding: “He was, the family source said, reserved and devoted to Islam. Al Mana, who had never been married and had no kids, headed his family’s Al Mana Luxury Group, which operates 55 companies in eight countries. Janet had been a performer, in her family’s Las Vegas show and variety TV series, since the age of 7, then went on to record some of the biggest hits of the 1980s and ’90s.”
“But,” a Jackson family source said, “when they met, their eyes locked and any apprehension . . . quickly dissipated. It was one of those love-at-first-sight-type things. They didn’t care about each other’s past.”
Janet, the source added, “said his eyes inspired her.” As for Al Mana, the insider said, he confided to friends that Janet was his “dream woman.”
“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.’
According to the Jackson source, Al Mana would dazzle Janet with his knowledge of architecture and talk about another of his hobbies: interior decorating.
“He’d tell Janet how architecture and interior design could convey so much,” said a source employed by the family. “It turned her on.”
Al Mana reportedly knew he couldn’t tame Janet so he was surprised when she quickly took to his conservative lifestyle.
“At least twice, she thought she was pregnant, and each time, she realized that she wasn’t, I’m not sure who was more disappointed…”
Also, as noted by a source to Us Weekly, “His money could afford them a lot of privacy, which was what she craved.”
Although she never converted, Al Mana’s friends, the family source said, noticed “Janet complying [with] Islamic traditions, including her dress with head coverings” and fasting during times of spiritual reflection.
Janet’s family, meanwhile, noticed “her not speaking out of turn when in the company of others. [Al Mana] took the lead.”
They had the marriage talk right away because “He really wanted a baby and Janet was ready,” the insider added. “She realized she found the right guy.”
As you know, Janet has had two failed previous marriages — to singer James DeBarge (1984 to 1985) and music-video director René Elizondo Jr. (1991 to 2000), as well as a seven-year relationship with music producer Jermain Dupri (2002-2009).
But finally deciding to get pregnant at 46 would not be easy for the singer.
“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 said. Al Mana was having doubts about whether it could happen, while Janet was confident it would, another source said.
“The disappointments began to create cracks in the marriage, which was, in turn, causing issues within the Jackson family,” per The Post.
Janet’s hubby also required her to dress modestly during her “Unbreakable” concert tour in 2015, and when she played the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Al Mana allegedly dominated rehearsals, demanding his wife remain chaste: “No skin, no dry humping and none of that American [stuff],” according to the employee.
Janet’s father and former manager, Joe, argued that her fans expected to see (and deserved) “sexy” Janet. He blamed the lack of sold-out concerts on Al Mana’s controlling behavior and making tone down the s’exy.
At home, the couple was so stressed about their failure to get pregnant that the two would await doctors’ verdicts so that “they could point the finger at one another as being the reason they couldn’t get pregnant.”
When Jackson announced she was “planning a family” last year, (in reality, she was already pregnant), the family source added, “that’s when the starry-eyed, ‘dream woman and ultimate man’ stories stopped and reality — a harsh reality — set in.”
As the pregnancy progressed, “s – – t hit the fan, the family source explained. “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.”
As her brother Randy has suggested, Al Mana verbally abused Janet.
“Her life was sheltered,” the confidant told Us Weekly. “Janet felt like a prisoner.”
Sources told The Post that, shortly after the Jan. 3 birth of the couple’s son, Eissa, Jackson left Al Mana, although they kept their seperation private until May.
The family insider explained how Randy orchestrated his sister’s departure from the London home she shared with Al Mana. With the help of their older sister Rebbie and mother Katherine, the trio gave Janet the strength to “leave her controlling husband,” the source added.
Janet and Al Mana have met in a London court to begin divorce proceedings, and Entertainment Tonight reported that Janet will be seeking full custody of Eissa.
In the meantime, Janet is back on the road touring, and at a concert in Houston a few weeks ago, she wept while performing the domestic violence-themed song, “What About.”
“This is me,” she told the crowd before belting out: “What about the times you hit my face? What about the times you kept on when I said, ‘No more, please’?”
Al Mana’s reps have said the billionaire businessman still loves Janet — who may get more than $200 million in a divorce settlement. They plan on co-parenting Eissa.
“Janet doesn’t regret Eissa at all. That child is the love of her life,” the family source said. “She is grateful that she can point to the baby as something good that came out of that marriage.”