A Refresher on Janet Jackson's Marriages, Because They Were All So Low-Key
With a name and music catalog that will forever be ingrained in the music industry, Janet Jackson has led an incredible life filled with world-renowned popularity. While Jackson's superstar status has brought her great success, it has also made her personal life both very public and complicated.
Over the years, Jackson has been married three times, as well as had a long-term relationship with rapper Jermaine Dupri for seven years. Though the singer has mainly remained private regarding her love life, she spoke about her marriages and relationships in the Lifetime and A&E documentary "Janet Jackson." Read more to learn about Jackson's marriage history — the good and the bad.
Janet Jackson and James DeBarge (1984-1985)
In 1984, at just 18 years old, Janet Jackson married singer James DeBarge. DeBarge was part of the group DeBarge, known for '80s hits like "Rhythm of the Night" and "All This Love." In "Janet Jackson," she revealed that her marriage to DeBarge was partially motivated by her desire to gain independence from her controlling father and manager, Joe Jackson.
According to Jackson herself, their marriage ended due to DeBarge's frequent substance abuse, saying, "I cared so much for him, and I saw the good in him as well, and I just wanted that to take precedence as opposed to this ugliness. 'Cause I knew that he needed help. But I wasn't the help that he needed." The marriage was annulled in 1985.
Janet Jackson and René Elizondo Jr. (1991-2000)
Two years after the end of her marriage to James DeBarge, Jackson met and started dating songwriter René Elizondo Jr. in 1987. The pair dated for four years before they married secretly in 1991. Throughout their relationship, Elizondo Jr. helped Jackson with her music, and the two cowrote 37 songs together, including "That's the Way Love Goes" and "Lonely."
By the late '90s, however, their marriage had crumbled. They divorced in 2000, and Elizondo Jr. sued Jackson for $25 million in assets, claiming he signed their prenuptial agreement under duress. According to "Forbes," they settled his lawsuit in 2003 for $10 million.
Janet Jackson and Wissam Al Mana (2012-2017)
Following her split from René Elizondo Jr., Jackson was in a long-term relationship with rapper Jermaine Dupri from 2002-2009. One year after her split with Dupri, Jackson met and started dating businessman Wissam Al Mana in 2010. In 2012, the pair married, and in January 2017, Jackson had her first child with him, Eissa.
Shortly after the birth of their son, the couple separated and filed for divorce, citing cultural differences. At the time, a source close to Jackson told "People," "The cultural differences between her and Wissam became even more obvious [after Eissa arrived]. They come from very different worlds." While the pair separated in 2017, their divorce has not been finalized yet.