Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
January 3, 2017
Currently Known For:
$175 Million (Family)
Janet Jackson's Son
The Jackson family is one of the most popular in all of music history, spearheaded by the quintet of the Jackson 5, and then followed up by the solo successes of Michael and eventually Janet Jackson. The youngest child of the family, Janet Jackson has had several smash hit albums that have produced songs such as “Escapade”, “Nasty” and “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”
Like her brother, Jackson has also had some famous relationships, marrying singer James DeBarge in 1984 and having it annulled the next year, and then marrying Rene Elizondo, Jr. from 1991 to 2000. Then, Jackson started dating famed record producer Jermaine Dupri, whom she had worked with many times through the years.
Following her split with Dupri, Jackson started dating Wissam Al Mana, a businessman from Qatar, and would eventually tie the knot. It wasn’t a large or public ceremony, but news would get out that the couple was married. At 50 years old, people weren’t expecting news of a pregnancy out of Jackson, but that’s what happened in 2016 when she announced that she was having her first child.
Jackson was touring at the time of her announcement, and had to delay the rest of the dates when announcing her pregnancy. Jackson told reporters that “We thank God for our blessing,” and a source that was close to the singer said “She is super excited about her pregnancy and is doing extremely well. She actually feels very good about everything.”
Fans, of course, were very interested to see how the 50 year old would be able to handle a pregnancy, and paparazzi photos started making their way to the tabloids, prompting a lot of discussion. According to one source, Jackson wasn’t “feeling that great. She has gained more weight than she anticipated. It hasn’t been the easiest pregnancy at all,” and it left her feeling “very tired and sluggish.”
Thankfully, Jackson was able to get through the final months of her pregnancy without much issue, giving birth to her first child, a son named Eissa Al Mana on January 3, 2017. Though Jackson and her husband had planned on starting a family together, the couple announced just three months later that they would be parting ways, and have been in the process of a divorce ever since.
To that point, Jackson had been living a very quiet life as a new mother, and it wasn’t until May 2017 that she reappeared on social media to get candid with her fans. Jackson talked about her new son, saying that “I thank God for him, you guys. He’s so healthy, so beautiful, so sweet, so loving, such a happy baby.” She also addressed her separation, saying “We are in court, and the rest is in God’s hands.” Jackson would even announce that she was ready to go back on tour and thanked her fans for their continued support.
One source said that the reason for the split was because there were disagreements on how to raise the child. Jackson was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness while Al Mana is Muslim. The source said that the two “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.”
Raising a child as a single mother is no easy task, especially when the child is as young as Eissa. Within just eight months, though, Jackson was able to get back to touring while also raising her son. Her brother Tito said that Janet was “doing all the baby talk to the baby and playing with him constantly – all that stuff. She changes all the diapers – she does it all.”
He added that “I asked her, ‘How are you getting along with (being a single mother)?’ and she said, ‘Tito, I love it.’ She just loves her baby. She’s great at being a mother. It’s really great. I guess it sort of makes her feel complete.”
Longtime Jackson family friend and music producer Jimmy Jam said that Jackson would show off her son in Facetime video chats even at her busiest times. “One of the treats of sort of being the uncle to Eissa is I get Facetimes at like one or two in the morning,..and it’s always just Eissa,” he said. “She just puts Eissa in front of the camera. Cutest baby in the whole history of babies.”
Over the past year now that Jackson has gotten back to more of a public life, people have seen plenty of Eissa while she’s out and about. In a recent interview, Jackson said that her son “has showed me that love, no matter how deeply you believe you have experienced that emotion, can always go deeper. Love is limitless. And for someone like me, raised in show business where self-concern is always a priority, how fortunate I am now to be concerned, first and foremost, with the welfare of someone else.”
Brother Tito appears to be right when he says that having Eissa made Jackson feel more complete. “Day after day and night after night, holding my baby in my arms, I am at peace,” she said. “I am blessed. I feel bliss. In those moments, all is right with the world.”