René Elizondo Jr. is a Mexican-born dancer, songwriter, and music video director based in Los Angeles, California, America. He is best known for his secret marriage to star singer Janet Jackson, sister of Michael Jackson. In 1990, he made an appearance in the music video for the song “Come Back to Me” from Janet Jackson’s album ‘Rhythm Nation'. They also worked together professionally, as he co-wrote 37 songs with her over the years, even though René started to appear in the album credits much later. He directed the music videos for the songs “That's the Way Love Goes” and “Again” from her 1993 album ‘janet.', and for the song “Together Again” (Deeper Remix) from her 1997 album 'The Velvet Rope'. In 1993, Janet appeared topless on the cover of the September issue of 'Rolling Stone' magazine, with René's hands covering her modesty from the behind. Janet's 2001 song “Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You”' is allegedly about him. Following their separation, he started a family with Britt Coelho and currently works as the creative director of Anvil Case Co., which makes high end industrial type carrier cases.
The Meteoric Rise to Stardom
René Elizondo Jr. started his career as a dancer. In the mid-1980s, he became a back-up dancer for Latoya Jackson, elder sister of Janet. He met Janet during this time and the two started dating soon after. Within a short period of time, the two became inseparable and started to work together on many of Janet's albums. He became the director for her music videos, including “That's the Way Love Goes” and “Together Again”, and started contributing to her song lyrics as well, notably for her 1997 album “The Velvet Rope”, for which he was also credited as a co-executive producer. He also became involved in her business affairs, often guiding her on her various projects and events in the entertainment industry. While he never asked for credits for his contributions to her songs, even Janet acknowledged in an interview to 'Rolling Stone' magazine that he has been her co-writer on almost all of her songs since her album 'Rhythm Nation'.
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Controversies & Scandals
While René Elizondo Jr. and Janet Jackson were together since the mid-1980s, it was assumed that they were only dating and that they still had not finalized their marriage. However, the fact that they have been secretly married for nine long years was revealed only after René sued her for spousal support following their divorce. For almost a decade, their marriage was the best kept secret in Hollywood, until Janet's elder sister, Rebbie Jackson ,mentioned during an interview on an Atlanta radio station in 1998 that the two had eloped years ago. René later clarified that they did not elope; rather, they were married on March 31, 1991, by a priest at the home they shared in Northern San Diego County, in the presence of her mother, his parents and their best friends. They kept the news secret as they thought celebrity couples often break up quickly due to media pressure. While many of their close friends and business associated knew the truth about their relationship, they respected their decision to keep it a secret.
Apparently, René and Janet's relationship suffered as they became more involved as business and creative partners. He made it clear that there was no third party involved in their separation, and also confirmed in an interview that he will never write a tell-all book about their private relationship. Revealing that he conceptualized the albums 'Rhythm Nation' and 'The Velvet Rope', as well as co-wrote most of the songs, he accused her of being manipulative, stating that he was tricked into signing a pre-nupital agreement that denied him money worth millions. In 2002, they reportedly reached a settlement which gave him $15 million, the couple’s black 2000 Mercedes SL600, and the Malibu beachfront home they shared together.
René Elizondo Jr. was born on July 16, 1962, in Durango, Mexico. He has a younger brother named Yuri Elizondo who is also a video director and has directed the music video for the song “Whoops Now” from Janet Jackson's fifth album 'janet.'. René himself started out as a dancer and later became a video director.
Marriage & Love Life
He married Janet in 1991 after five years of dating. After being together for 14 years, they divorced in 2000. He started dating Britt Coelho soon after his divorce from Janet. She is of Portuguese descent and works as an agent, selling luxury properties, for Compass Real Estate in the Los Angeles & Orange County region. They got married in August 2010 in a small beach ceremony and welcomed a baby girl named Elin on October 9, 2011.