By Ryan Velez
Singer Janet Jackson recently made headlines once again, announcing that she was having a child at age 50 with husband Wissam Al Mana, 41. The Daily Mail reports that in a recent photo of the couple out and about in London, Jackson was wearing a loose-fitting Islamic style dress, a far cry from some of the skimpy outfits she has worn in some of her past performances and videos. Many theorize that Al Mana is behind the change, but very little is known about who he is and how they met.
Born in Qatar and educated in the UK, Al Mana owns the Al Mana Group alongside brothers Kamal and Hisham. The group was founded by his father, Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana. Wissam’s estimated net worth is between £820million and £1billion, and he serves as the executive director of the group. They run Harvey Nichols, Zara and Mango stores in the Middle East and also counts designer brands such as Hermes and Alexander McQueen among their portfolio. The Qatar based conglomerate also owns several other businesses, ranging from cars to technology.
A source says that Janet, who is “totally besotted” with Al Mana, has converted to Islam. Al Mana himself is a very strict practitioner of the religion. Having met at a Dubai hotel opening in 2010, the two were secretly married in 2012.
“When she’s visiting Wissam’s family in the Middle East she wears no make-up, no hair extensions and keeps to traditional Muslim clothing,” says a source. “She feels like she has found a home with her new religion. She has spent a great deal of time studying it. The days of raunchy dance moves and s*xual lyrics are long gone.” The very private Wissam rarely gives interviews, but has spoken out in the past about his devotion to his family, as well as how his religious beliefs impact some of his business decisions.
Janet Jackson has been married twice before, first to soul singer James DeBarge in 1984 before the marriage was annulled a year later. She had met her second husband, René Elizondo, Jr. in the mid-1980s before marrying secretly in 1991 and divorcing in 2000. Little is known about Wissam’s past relationships, but an American stripper and former Playboy model claims to have dated him during his time at university.
Gwen Rogers wrote on her Facebook page: “I met him when he was a student. He was very religious. I wish him and Janet all the best and that’s all I want to say about him.”