Janet Jackson has remained tight-lipped on the reason she split from her husband earlier this year, but older brother Randy is finally offering some insight.
Steven Randall (Randy) Jackson opened up about his sister’s April divorce, and alleged that she suffered “verbal abuse” at the hands of her ex, Wissam Al Mana.
“It’s quite an abusive situation. It came on later in the relationship, verbal abuse and being (made to feel like) a prisoner in her own home,” he told People. “No pregnant woman needs to go through being called a b—h every day. There were things like that. That’s what she went through.”
Janet, 51, married the London-based Qatari businessman, 42, in 2012. Their son Eissa was born Jan. 3, but the couple announced they had parted ways just three months later. They’re embroiled in a custody battle over the child.
Randy maintains that the abuse against his sister never got physical, but that it did reach a breaking point that moved him to chime in in an attempt to protect the “Rhythm Nation” singer.
“I told her, ‘You’ve got to move in with me or I’m going to go over there and there’s going to be hell,'” said Randy, who lives in London, close to the home Janet shared with her ex. “She was really pissed off. I told her, ‘I don’t care anymore. I’m tired of it. It’s too much.'”
In the wake of the couple’s split, rumors circulated that cultural differences were to blame, as Al Mana is reportedly Muslim, and Janet is Christian.
Randy, however, insists that religion had nothing to do with it.
Their son Eissa was born in January.
“I have a lot of Muslim friends and they don’t act that way at all,” he said. “It’s a personal issue that he needs help with and I’m going to pray for him, too. But I’m not going to allow her to live in that abusive situation. She’s my baby sister.”
In a statement to People, Al Mana’s attorneys dismissed Randy’s claims, and opted not to indulge his allegations with an answer.
“Mr. Al Mana is not going to dignify these particular and deeply hurtful allegations with a response,” the statement read. “The breakdown of his marriage to Janet Jackson is a cause of great sadness to Mr. Al Mana, and it is the wellbeing and privacy of their son, Eissa, that remains his sole focus.”
Though Al Mana’s few statements have been subtle, he’s opted to play nice with his ex in the public eye.
Following their split, he posted an emotional message on his website that declared Jackson the “most beautiful person in the world.”
“Thank you for your divine love, your eternal support and for being my best friend,” he wrote. “I love you so much.”
Janet recently resumed her world tour, which was put on hold during her pregnancy. Though she’s remained mum on the details of her divorce, her emotions recently got the best of her on stage, when she broke down in tears during a performance in Houston.