The Qatari billionaire who tamed Janet Jackson: How the pop sex symbol became ‘besotted’ with her British beau and dumped her flesh-flashing antics for a modest Muslim life
Janet Jackson and her Qatari-born billionaire businessman husband recently announced they are expecting their first child.
The singer, 50, is perhaps best known for her risque outfits – with her ‘nip slip’ while singing a duet with Justin Timberlake during a half time performance at the Super Bowl being a particularly memorable ensemble.
But when she was spotted out and about with her husband Wissam Al Mana, 41, in London last week, she was the picture of modesty.
It is believed to be her Muslim husband’s influence which has led to ‘besotted’ Janet’s new look.
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In a far cry from her previous skimpy outfits, the singer – who has been suffering with morning sickness – covered up her changing shape in a loose-fitting Islamic-style dress.
But who is mysterious billionaire Wissam Al Mana?
He was born in Qatar and when he was two his family moved to West London.
He was educated in the UK and when he was 14 he applied for a job in every fashion boutique on the King’s Road in Chelsea before finally getting a weekend job.
He then attended university in Washington before returning to the UK to study for a Master’s degree at the London School of Economics.
The Al Mana Group was founded by his father, Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana, and is now owned by his three sons – Wissam, Hisham, and Kamal.
Wissam, who has an estimated worth of between £820million and £1billion, is the executive director of the group, which runs Harvey Nichols, Zara and Mango stores in the Middle East and also counts designer brands such as Hermes and Alexander McQueen among its portfolio.
The Qatari conglomerate runs a raft of businesses from cars to technology as well as acting as a franchisee of international retail brands.
It also operates 70 BHS stores outside the UK which remained open after the collapse of the UK group. The Al Mana Group bought up BHS international business and the rights to the BHS name in June, after the original firm collapsed in April.
Friends told The Sun that Janet has converted to Islam since marrying the mysterious billionaire Londoner, who is nine years her junior.
They say she is ‘totally besotted’ with strict Muslim Al Mana, whom she married in secret in 2012.
A source said: ‘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.
‘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 sexual lyrics are long gone.’
Family is important to him. He said: ‘Between my brothers and I there is a structure.
‘We basically handle different responsibilities and different companies within the group. We all enjoy doing different things, we all like to put our hands in certain industries and activities,’ he told Entrepreneur.
He is deeply private and has conducted very few interivews. He has, however, spoken out about his religious beliefs and how that affects his business.
When the company launched a food division, he revealed he would not deal with brands involved in pork or alcohol.
He said previously : ‘It was my choice not to venture to alcohol and pork because it’s against my religion.
‘It’s really that simple. I thought it was the right decision to take.’
He met Janet in 2010 at the opening of a hotel in Dubai and they dated for two years before secretly marrying.
Shortly after their wedding Wissam took to his website and wrote: ‘To the most beautiful person in the world. Thank you for your divine love, your eternal support and for being my best friend. I love you so much, inshallah. We will be together in the Great Forever.’