Janet Jackson's Relationship Timeline As Jermaine Dupri Speaks On Their Romance In A&E Doc

Janet Jackson's ex-partner Jermaine Dupri has spoken on their relationship, calling the singer "one of the sexiest women in the world".

The music icon is the subject of a new two-night, four-hour documentary event on Lifetime and A&E and the series charts her life, both professional and personal, and also celebrates the 40th anniversary of her debut solo album.

In a clip from the Lifetime documentary, Dupri spoke fondly of his former partner admitting that they have remained friends over a decade after their split, and they will continue to do so in the future.

He said of the "That's the Way Love Goes" hit-maker: "You always need a Janet Jackson in your life, she's a one of one, iconic triple threat.

"She makes music, she's an actress, she can actually do whatever she wants to do. Her legacy is just one of the most iconic we have ever seen.

"She has been so many different layers and can be so many different layers. She's tough, she's not a pushover, she can get loud, Janet Jackson doesn't need to do anything to get you to say anything else."

Reflecting on their relationship, he went on: "She's one of the sexiest women in the world, I think she gave more women confidence to try everything.

"I feel like we're always going to have a friendship, regardless of what I'm doing or who's in my life, or regardless of what's going on.

"I didn't need Janet Jackson to amplify my life, but I feel like it did."

Here is everything you need to know about Jackson's relationship with Dupri, as well as the other relationships she has had over the years.

Janet Jackson's Relationship Timeline

James DeBarge - 1984 to 1985

Jackson's first marriage was with musician James DeBarge, who she eloped with at the age of 18 in 1984.

The couple were only married for a year, though, as their nuptials were annulled in November 1985.

In the documentary, per USA Today, Jackson spoke on rumors she had a secret child with DeBarge, and she denied she had a child, and had her sister Rebbie take care of the baby in her stead.

Jackson reflected: "I could never keep a child from James. How could I keep a child away from their father? I could never do that, that's not right."

Rebbie also spoke on the matter, saying firmly: "They were saying I was raising her daughter. I don't know where that ridiculous idea came from."

René Elizondo Jr. - 1987 to 2000

In 1987 Jackson began dating René Elizondo Jr., a Mexican songwriter and music video director she met while he worked as a back-up dancer for her sister La Toya.

During their relationship he co-wrote 37 songs with her and he also directed many of her music videos.

The pair got married in secret in 1991, and it was only upon Elizondo Jr. suing her for a divorce in 2000 that the public became aware of their relationship, as they did not reach a settlement for another three years.

At the time Rolling Stone shared a statement from the musician in which she explained her reasoning for keeping the marriage out of the spotlight.

Jackson said they kept it secret "to have a normal family life . . . Since I was a child, my personal life has been lived in the public eye."

In 2001 she also told Entertainment Weekly: "To say, 'No, we're not,' when they would ask [if we're married]? I didn't like it. It didn't feel good at all. But I was willing to do anything to protect what we had. Because I feel that it's so difficult in this business, the whole marriage thing."

Jermaine Dupri - 2002 to 2009

Following her divorce from Elizondo Jr., Jackson began dating Dupri from 2002 until their split in 2009.

As Dupri mentioned in the clip from the new documentary, the pair have remained friends following their break-up.

In September 2021, Jackson shared an Instagram post to celebrate Dupri's birthday saying she was "sending luv" to him on his big day.

Wissam Al Mana - 2012 to 2017

Jackson met Wissam Al Mana in 2010, and she and the Qatari businessman began dating shortly thereafter before tying the knot in 2012.

The couple share a five-year-old son named Eissa Al Mana who they welcomed into the world on January 3, 2017.

In April of the same year, the "Together Again" singer and Al Mana separated quietly, and a source told People magazine that they were keen to raise their son together despite their split.

The source told the publication at the time: "They separated shortly after the baby was born. The cultural differences between her and Wissam became even more obvious [after Eissa arrived]. They come from very different worlds."

Janet Jackson premieres on Lifetime and A&E on Friday, January 28 and Saturday, January 29 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri
Jermaine Dupri and Janet Jackson during Virgin Records Presents Damita Jo: A Celebration with Janet Jackson in Honor of Her New Album at Spice Market in New York City in 2004. Dupri spoke about their romance in Lifetime and A&E's new documentary about the iconic singer. Jim Spellman/WireImage