From the outside, Janet Jackson’s third marriage looked like a fairy tale.
After an intense period of heartbreak that included her beloved brother Michael’s overdose death in 2009 and the announcement of her split from her longtime love, producer Jermaine Dupri, that year, Janet was desperately in need of some light in her life. Then along came Wissam Al Mana, a dashing Qatari billionaire businessman who swept the superstar off her feet.
The two had a quiet, whirlwind relationship that led to major changes in Janet’s life — including a move to London and abandoning her famously sexy style for extremely conservative garb in line with Al Mana’s Muslim religion. The couple wed two years after they met. Much to everyone’s surprise, then-50-year-old Janet announced she was pregnant with son Eissa, who was born in January of this year.
To even greater surprise, Janet then announced her separation from Al Mana four months later.
“It was quite an abusive situation,” her brother Randy told People of his sister’s marriage. He referred to “verbal abuse and being [made to feel like] a prisoner in her own home. No pregnant woman needs to go through being called a bitch everyday . . . That’s what she went through.”
Now, a family insider tells The Post what really went on inside Janet’s troubled marriage — and what went so wrong.
When the singer and Al Mana, then 35, met at Dubai’s Armani Hotel opening in 2010, they couldn’t be more different. He was, the family source said, reserved and devoted to Islam. She was “Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty” — and had spent years living down a 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” in which her breast was exposed by Justin Timberlake while performing at the Super Bowl.
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…