Singer Janet Jackson had many reasons to celebrate at a party in Atlanta on Dec. 17. But the night was also an unofficial coming out party of sorts. At Janet’s side that evening: none other than her ex-boyfriend and frequent collaborator, Jermaine Dupri.

An insider confirms that the pop icon, 51, and the Grammy-winning producer, 45, have reunited eight years after they initially split. “Janet’s taking it slowly, but yes, she and Jermaine are dating,” the insider tells In Touch. “She’s comfortable with him. They know everything about each other, and she’s happier than ever.”

janet jackson and jermaine dupri getty

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The mom to one-year-old son Eissa has been embroiled in a nasty custody battle with her estranged husband, Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana, ever since their five-year marriage imploded in April. “She has been a nervous wreck,” the insider says. “Jermaine was definitely there for her, and she credits him for saving her at a time when she desperately needed a friend.”

Toward the end of her marriage to Wissam, 43, “Janet was in a very dark place,” the insider claims. The singer, who met Wissam at a hotel opening in Dubai in 2010, slowly learned that he was not the charming cosmopolitan man she initially thought he was. “It was quite an abusive situation,” Janet’s brother Randy alleged after the split. “It came on later in the relationship, verbal abuse and [feeling like] a prisoner in her own home.” Alone and depressed, Janet turned to Jermaine, with whom she had remained in touch. “He really made it a point to be there for her,” the insider adds.

Over the next several months, her feelings for him reignited as he encouraged her to move on and reminded her that she didn’t need to let her ex get inside her head. His positivity was a breath of fresh air. “Jermaine is the total opposite of Wissam. They couldn’t be more different,” the insider explains. “Wissam has a temper, but Jermaine is sweet. He worships the ground Janet walks on.” He also grew fond of her little boy. “Jermaine fell in love with Eissa,” continues the insider.

And now that he has Janet back, Jermaine intends to avoid his past mistakes. After they split years ago, he alluded to being unfaithful to Janet. “Jermaine’s not perfect,” the insider concedes. “He’s even admitted he’s the reason that he and Janet broke up.” Nearly a decade later, though, he’s a more mature man, says the insider, and “he’s not planning on letting her go this time around.”