Wow, Janet Jackson & Wissam El Mana’s divorce is extremely messy

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I can hold these two thoughts in my head at the same time. Thought #1: I could never and would never be able to raise a child with a man whose culture was so wildly different than my own. I could never even be with a guy who felt strongly about his religion (whatever his religion was), and those concerns would be multiplied tenfold if I tried to raise a child with him. I know that about myself, and lo and behold, I never had a baby with a devout Muslim or Christian. I knew that about myself very early on, because that sh-t gets messy in a hurry. So I judge Janet Jackson for being 50 years old and NOT understanding that if anything went wrong between herself and Wissam Al Mana, that sh-t would get incredibly messy.

Thought #2: It’s also possible that Wissam Al Mana is a totally regular dude who just happens to be Muslim, and that Janet Jackson and her people are using his religion to score “points” in the media and paint Wissam as a terrible person who bashed her over the head with Islam. I don’t know, honestly. What I do know is that when Janet called the cops on Wissam when he was spending time with their son Eissa, everything sort of exploded with competing narratives about what was and is really going on. Police sources told TMZ that Janet “expressed she was worried Wissam was using drugs around her child.” Sources tell People Magazine that the call was part of a larger fight about how to raise Eissa. Other sources – Wissam sources – say Janet is being an a–hole and she’s just trying to get full custody. Some highlights from this lengthy People Magazine story:

Wissam & Janet have never agreed on how to raise their son: “Since their divorce, they are trying to raise their son together. Their cultural differences, that also ended their marriage, are tricky to work around though,” the Jackson family source explains. “They have very different ideas about how to raise Eissa. Janet has expressed frustration about this in the past. During their marriage, Janet worked hard on adapting to Wissam’s culture, but she found it challenging. She often found herself disappointed with Wissam. Now when they share custody, it’s very difficult for Janet that Wissam has a completely different parenting approach than she does.” The family source tells PEOPLE Jackson “couldn’t be a better mom. She is very attached to Eissa and feels worried about him when he isn’t with her. Eissa is her life.”

The drug story: Janet called the cops because she was concerned after their nanny grew “terrified” by Al Mana’s behavior and “locked herself in a bathroom, so she could contact Janet.” TMZ reported Jackson told police she was worried Al Mana may have been using drugs around their son. “The concern was that his erratic behavior was tied to that,” the second source told PEOPLE. However, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office told The Blast there “was zero suspicion of drugs being used,” and that the office was puzzled as to “why Jackson made the allegation.”

The nanny might have overreacted? The Blast later reported that the nanny was upset Al Mana refused to provide her with the hotel room’s WiFi password; a second source tells PEOPLE the nanny was “unable to do her job and stay in communication during an instance when it was very necessary.” A source close to the situation responds, “If this is about communication, why’d the cops get told a false story about drugs? WiFi is not needed to stay in communication. It’s shameful that the police were called. It’s 2018. Do we really need to be using public resources and first responders to deal with someone having a tantrum over WiFi?”

A source close to Wissam says Janet is always messing with his custodial time with Eissa. “Janet and her camp want Wissam to have zero part in his son’s life and would like nothing more than to relegate him to the role of sperm donor. They have been consistently making it difficult for him to see Eissa and therefore completely violating his parental rights. Now they’ve gone one step further and are dragging authorities into this, to their own detriment — the police flat-out told them that their claims were demonstrably false. The police could immediately tell and basically said to Janet and her people that they need to knock it off.”

Wissam hopes everything will die down: Jackson and her team “are going way too far but honestly at this point, it’s all blowing up in their face and only makes them look worse and worse,” the insider claims. “Wissam isn’t afraid or even angry — he’s just waiting for all the truth to come out and for sanity to prevail. Wissam has been more than cooperative in terms of visitation, even agreeing to use the same nanny that Janet uses when Eissa is with her, so as to minimize disruption,” the insider explains. “That does mean having someone with him who is on Ms. Jackson’s payroll, which many people would say is less than ideal and certainly complicates matters at times. But he’s willing to do whatever is necessary to be with his son.”

[From People]

See what I mean? On one side, I do think the cultural differences were a driving factor in why Wissam and Janet split and I do think they probably disagree a lot about how to raise Eissa. But I also think there’s a lot of dog-whistle Islamophobia happening here, and that if Janet called the cops on Wissam and said that she suspected him of doing drugs and it was all about the WiFi password, then she’s the one with the issue.

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57 Responses to “Wow, Janet Jackson & Wissam El Mana’s divorce is extremely messy”

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  1. Loopy says:

    But they were together for many years before she decided to bounce..if there were any cultural differences she was well aware. She even changed wardrobe and was fully covered for one of her tours and wouldn’t perform certain songs. I think she always planned to leave at a certain period for a big pay out.

  2. minx says:

    I don’t know what to think about these two, who is telling the truth. But their son is so young and they have many years of co-parenting ahead so they had better work it out.

  3. Taxi says:

    It’s pretty easy to call the front desk from the room & ask for the wi-fi password, in case you can’t find it in the hotel directory with TV info, menus, etc that’s in every room.

  4. PoodleMama says:

    Well wasn’t the Janet source for the original story her brother? Not exactly a trustworthy narrator.

    Also, I could see it being challenging for her to adapt to his customs but he also had to deal with her batshit crazy relatives.

  5. Morning Coffee says:

    Yeah…….a Jackson “source” criticizing someone else’s parenting style is not credible, IMO.

  6. tifzlan says:

    Did they get married overnight? If not, I don’t understand how the cultural differences came into play all of a sudden. These are not things to be taken lightly, so if they had been dating prior to marriage, i’m sure they would have discussed it, let alone observing the fact that Wissam does things differently from what Janet is used to. Sorry, i call bs on this.

  7. Jussie says:

    I always remember how she was circling Michael’s kids like a vulture right along with the rest of her family when Michael died. I don’t think her financial situation is what it should be.

    I also remember her slapping poor Paris when she was going through hell and suicidal.

    Those two things really changed my view of her character. She seems as desperate and dysfunctional as the rest of her nightmare family.

    • Sherry says:

      I couldn’t recall exactly what happened, so I just looked it up. I always thought Janet was the “sane” one, but after reading what went down after Michael died, my opinion of her is that she is just as shady and money hungry as her brothers.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        There are many reasons why Michael cut his siblings and extended family out of his will and when he died they showed their ass. His mother was the only one he could trust and even then there was a lot of shenanigans around the rest of the family trying to control the kids and the money via her.

      • lucy2 says:

        Yeah I remember being surprised and disappointed she acted just like the rest of the family when that all happened.

        This all sounds messy, and the one who will suffer for it is their kid. They need to work out a way to be amicable.

  8. Brittany says:

    Child of an American mother and Arab father here. My ex is also an Arab man. There IS a cultural difference, there IS a religious difference. Often whenever people get serious about relationships and children are involved, people start changing from more carefree to more firm on their stances of how things should be according to their belief systems (cultural or religious).
    I knew this was going to implode sooner or later.

    • Amelie says:

      How was your experience in an American-Arab household if you don’t mind me asking? Were your parents able to make it work despite the cultural/religious difference? I always wondered how bi-religious couples (is that a term?) make it work. Both my parents are not from the same country–Mom is American, Dad is French but they are both “Western” and Catholic so that wasn’t as different.

      • Brittany says:

        Hi Amelie, my dad was an atheist so there were no real religious differences to deal with, primarily just cultural. I wish I could speak more freely on this site, but for now all I can say is that my life is *much* different than my female cousins on that side (whose parents are not atheists).

      • Whitecat says:

        amelie and Brittany, there’s usually some cultural differences but I think it is more regarding your thinking rather than ‘your culture’, and how willing are you to compromise.
        My grandparents were German and Arab, and they had a huge clash regarding religion and culture. It definitely comes up when it comes to raising your kids and often people can also change throughout. However I think these conversations need to be had way before committing and most importantly, if your partner doesn’t match your value system, it really won’t matter what your culture is. Both my grandparents had similar values but completely different cultures but it worked.

        I never grew up in Germany or the German culture, my mom is half German and my dad is 100% Arab, I grew up in the Middle East, yet my partner is German and i can honestly say that my values align with him than any other person I’ve been with (Arab and no Arab), and even tho he’s grown up in conservative Catholic Bavaria, and we do have culture clashes, what was surprising is that we both found it way easier to compromise and work together than previous exes who were from the same culture.

    • Erin says:

      American woman married to an Arab man for 10 years w/two daughters here: there are cultural and religious differences but that does not mean that the marriage cannot be healthy. A non Muslim marrying a Muslim does not ensure that the marriage will eventually implode. There is a 50 percent divorce rate in the U.S. – as far as I know, inter cultural marriages are not the majority of this percentage.

  9. Stephanie says:

    If there is a problem with the cultural differences I’m not really buying the drugs thing. Islam has very strict rules about what you put in your body. No cigarettes, no alcohol, no drugs. If he was that devout a Muslim i doubt he’d be using drugs.

    They were together for a decent amount of time. At least 10 yrs? I think anger is the driving force behind this all.

  10. Carnivalbaby says:

    I may get blown up for this. I am going to give Janet a hard pass on this one. I believe she is a 52 year old mother of her first son and she may not be able to be completely logical as the rest of us. I believe that she didn’t imagine as many of us can’t until we are in the situation how difficult it can be to be the partner of a practicing Muslim man. I am not dogwhistling Islam, I am acknowledging as someone who grew up in the West, that it can be challenging. As my mother always says :See me and come live with me – two very different things. Having said that now that she’s getting divorced from a man who had no children prior to this son- his first son, so yep, co-parenting will be a challenge. I am not here to comment on who came from a better family, and has better ideas about upbringing – I am not American and I could be extremely judgemental about how American children are raised, but to what end. I have read extensively on American blogs about the joys of co-parenting when you get it right/bonus Moms or Dads and all of that Brady Bunch pie in the sky stuff, Parenting is hard work normally -add to that now, every day you have to get up and sacrifice all the negative emotions you may be feeling to have a conversation with some who you didnt consciously uncouple with. That – to me – is work and doesn’t happen in a day. I believe Janet is learning a big, big lesson about giving up “Control” and I am hopeful that her ex husband is open to accepting the challenges of his very Western-educated ex wife that he chose. I wish them both luck.

  11. incognito says:

    Janet stan fo lyfe. I don’t think this is about money. While she its bad form to play this out in the press, she did try to accomodate to his religion. Like what was mentioned above, her outits were modest and she worked very hard to adapt. I take any sort of rumors about Janet within her own family with tons of grains of salt. They all will sell each other out for a buck. Yah she has a TERRIBLE picker, but I also know that new mothers can also be kind of crazy. There is also that rumor that she had a child in the mid 80′s that Rebe raised. So I would not be suprised in the least that she fought so hard to hold on to this baby. She sacrificed children for a career. I pray for the kid.

  12. holly hobby says:

    I have not trusted Janet’s side of the story ever since she and her brothers stormed Neverland Ranch to try to take the children. Anyone remember that? I would not be surprised if this is one big dog whistle.

    On the other hand, with the hugely disparate religious backgrounds and ideals, why did they think it was a good idea to marry and have children?

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      That entire set up was very strange, hiding the mother Katherine away in Arizona and not letting the minor children that were in her care speak to her. I am giving the side eye to all the Jacksons, trouble and shadiness is their milieu.

      As for the ex-husband he lived and was educated in London from the age of two, went to college for his degree in the U.S so he must have some understanding of how liberal Janet would be. I just feel sorry for the little boy caught in the middle of this.

    • Asiyah says:

      Agreed. I get the sense that Janet Jackson either felt forced to comply with him because she really wanted to marry, or she pretended she had no problem, even using Jermaine (who is Muslim) as a “see? I have no problem converting” thing. Personally, when I read that she had converted for him, I instantly thought it was about money, getting more money as a Muslim wife than she would as a non-Muslim one.

  13. BrandyAlexander says:

    She looks so much like the Michael in the Thriller video in that top picture.

  14. Sza says:

    Weird how a man who was practically raised in the West and lived there most of his life is suddenly a devout Muslim when its convenient. And then he’s suddenly a drug addict despite being very religious when its convenient.

  15. Millenial says:

    You are right, by 50 you should be more than old enough to know better than to change your whole life and lifestyle for a man. Poor judgement on both their parts.

  16. Asiyah says:

    My opinion is biased, not only because I’m Muslim, but because I identify as Shia Muslim, and since he’s of a Khaliji background, I always assumed that he’s Salafi, who not only detest Shias but are very…strict, for lack of a better word. CONVENIENTLY strict (e.g. drinking and doing drugs, but to hell with Shias, Ahmadis, Ismailis, Zaydis, and Sufis! They’re not “real” Muslims like us!). I make this preface so people can take what I have to say with a grain of salt and that I’m obviously assuming based on his background (horrible of me, I admit it. I keep this in mind always).

    HOWEVER, even with my strong bias that may border on discrimination (my apologies to any Gulf Arabs out there), I don’t know, for some reason, I don’t feel he’s the monster she is depicting him to be. I get the sense she knows what buzzwords to say to get people to side with her. Could he have changed with her? Absolutely. Was he racist towards her? Maybe (that was one of her allegations). Do they have completely different views on how to rear little Eissa (Jesus)? Yes. But somehow I feel Janet knew all of this BEFORE she married and got pregnant and was more than willing to look the other way AND play the part of the woman he wants, for whatever her reasons may be (I think it was money). I only think this because there have been rumors for years that she’s not exactly rich anymore, even rumors that Jermaine Dupri, her ex, was also going broke and then she ended the relationship. So I keep all of this (along with my bias) in mind. I do hope that they end this and coparent little Eissa. He doesn’t deserve to be in the middle of all of this.

  17. Anna says:

    At the end of the day, the Jackson family is a complete and total mess when it comes to interpersonal relationships, starting with their relationships to their selves. That’s how childhood abuse messes you up for life plus being forced to basically forgo any semblance of normalcy from childhood in favor of the parents desire for fame and fortune. None of those kids ever had a chance or a proper model of healthy relational interaction. Janet was cloistered and also subject to abuse, at very least witnessing it which f-s a person up, too. So it doesn’t surprise me that she married young to escape the home in some romantic infantile dream and even at age 50 is still engaging in poor choices. Like Michael before her, she saw the Middle Eastern money man as escape/lover/provider (read: $$$$$$$$) but of course it couldn’t last because she has no skills to maintain a relationship nor did she enter into it with him with the right reasons. This is all must my guess but it comes from watching this whole family for decades.

  18. Yes Doubtful says:

    I think this guy was basically a sperm donor for her and she probably expected to be able to leave him and raise the child on her own. I don’t think he’s the monster she’s trying to make him out to be. She’s doing it so she can get sole custody.