Janet Jackson's divorce arose from an 'abusive situation,' according to brother Randy
Wissam Al Mana's attorneys call the allegations 'deeply hurtful'
Janet Jackson‘s older brother Steven Randall “Randy” Jackson claims that his sister suffered “verbal abuse” and felt like “a prisoner in her own home” during her marriage to London-based Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana. The businessman’s attorneys issued a statement saying he will not be responding to the “particular and deeply hurtful allegations.”
Speaking to PEOPLE exclusively, the former Jackson 5 star, 55, says, “Enough is enough” as he opens up for the first time about what he says is a troubling situation for the superstar singer.
“There’s a lot of pain. Janet’s been through a lot with her divorce. I’ve been through a lot, we all have,” says Randy, referring to Janet’s ongoing divorce and custody battle with Al Mana, 42.
The pair, who wed in 2012 and welcomed son Eissa on Jan. 3, have been in London courts since April, when the star confirmed their split in a video she shot with Randy at her side.
“Yes, I separated from my husband,” the 51-year-old said during the clip posted to Twitter in April, which also announced she’d be resuming her State of the World tour. She had postponed the tour due to her pregnancy.
She continued, “We are in court now and the rest is in God’s hands.”
As for what led to the divorce, Randy, who has attended court proceedings with Janet, draws a stark picture of his sister’s life with Al Mana towards the end of their relationship.
“It was quite an abusive situation,” Randy claims. “It came on later in the relationship, verbal abuse and being [made to feel like] a prisoner in her own home. No pregnant woman needs to go through being called a bitch every day. There were things like that. That’s what she went through.”
In a statement released to PEOPLE, attorneys for Al Mana say “Mr. Al Mana is not going to dignify these particular and deeply hurtful allegations with a response.
“The breakdown of his marriage to Janet Jackson is a cause of great sadness to Mr. Al Mana, and it is the well-being and privacy of their son, Eissa, that remains his sole focus.”
Randy, who lives in London near the home Janet and Al Mana shared, claims that while the abuse was not physical, he was compelled to come to his sister’s aid earlier this year.
“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.’ She was really pissed off. I told her, ‘I don’t care anymore. I’m tired of it. It’s too much,’ ” he says
According to Randy, he wasn’t the only member of the large Jackson family to rally around Janet after the divorce, “My mom and [sister] Rebbie came out [to London].”
As for mom Katherine Jackson, 87, and father Joe Jackson, 89, Randy says at first, he shielded them from what he knew. “I didn’t want them to know. My parents are up there in age so I wanted to protect them as much as possible, but now they know. Everybody in the family knows.”
Soon after the news of their separation, Al Mana, who is reportedly Muslim, updated his website WissamAlMana.com with a passage from the Quran:
“You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and indeed you shall hear many hurtful things from those to whom revelation was granted before your time, as well as from those who have come to ascribe divinity to other beings beside Allah. But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him – this, behold, is something to set one’s heart upon. – 3:186 “
Despite early reports that the couple’s split had to do with differing religious beliefs (Randy says Janet is Christian), Randy says that was not the problem.
“I have a lot of Muslim friends and they don’t act that way at all,” he says. “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.”
Al Mana also took to his website with a picture of his estranged wife and a positive message titled “Love.” It reads: “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.”
Randy says things have been anything but amicable. Asked how Janet is doing now, he says it’s a tough time, noting that the famed “Control” singer has been breaking down into tears on stage night after night. While performing her song “What About” during her opening night in Houston on Saturday, she was overcome with emotion.
“What you saw in Houston, it was her situation coming out, what she’s been going through.” Moreover, he claims, “The abuse is still going on.” Randy says the pair are still in contact mostly due to co-parenting Eissa. “She has custody and he, of course, allowed her to bring the baby on tour, but it’s constant harassment. This tour almost didn’t happen, but by the grace of God we’re here and we’re very prayerful.”
“It’s not about anger or vengeance,” says Randy as for why he’s decided to voice his claims. While he says Janet “wants Eissa to have a mother and a father,” the couple’s issues have grown too large. “We don’t like to put our business out there but sometimes transparency helps you. The devil thrives in darkness. I’m just here supporting her through this time.”
This article originally appeared on People.com