How It Pays to “Work” for Wyclef Jean — $105,000 That Was Supposed to Be For Haiti Charity Goes to Mistress

Ah, Wyclef Jean. The onetime Fugee, half-decent solo artist, and would-be Haitian philanthropist’s month has just gotten even worse. First there were the revelations at the beginning of March that the singer’s wife, Marie Claudinette, had discovered a nude picture of his manager, Lisa Ellis, on Wyclef’s phone. Now comes word that Jean’s charity Yele Haiti — long the subject of mismanagement allegations — funneled some $105,000 to Jean’s mistress and personal assistant, Zakiya Khatou-Chevassus, in 2008.
The money was paid to Khatou-Chevassus, listed as a vice president at Yele, for “program development,” but the fact that the $105K is about one-third of all the money the charity spent on management and general expenses in 2008 is raising some eyebrows.

Khatou-Chevassus is generally acknowledged as having worked as Jean’s personal assistant (and for $105 large, I would too), but reports are that it was an open secret that she was also seeing him romantically (which, on the other hand, I’d charge more than $105K to do).

All this comes to light after it was announced that, thanks to ongoing doubts about Yele Haiti’s questionable business practices, the charity would receive just $1 million, or 2.8%, of the more than $35 million raised by the “Hope for Haiti” Telethon that George Clooney helped put together, and which Jean himself co-hosted.

George and the rest of us can all rest assured that the million was undoubtedly well spent.


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5 thoughts on “How It Pays to “Work” for Wyclef Jean — $105,000 That Was Supposed to Be For Haiti Charity Goes to Mistress

  1. Here is a guy with everything going for him and he makes the same mistake again, and again, and again.

    He gets caught for not filing his annual INS forms for a period of 6 or was it 8 years! Wow! You normally miss 18 months and they suspend you!

    He also gets noted for taking funds from people and sending them directly to Haitian recipients, without going through his charity’s books….this effectively rules out any tax-exempt status for the donors.

    He was accused of paying himself and denied this. Now it seems as though he paid himself $100,000. He has been in Haiti claiming he will be a billionaire soon. Couldn’t he give the concert free?? Oh, well.

    Now he gets caught paying his girlfriend a lot more than she would get at a real job.

    One must think back to the time that he did a concert in Haiti to benefit some poor area. He was blamed for taking the funds and his local manager managed to convince people it was actually the producer. Up until then, no one played Wyclef’s music in Haiti. Now, his actions have people reassessing the earlier thoughts.

    Does his ego really make him believe no one would catch up to these things?

    Or is he simply stupid?

    I have met Wyclef and he is not stupid. In fact, he is one of the brightest guys you could hope to meet, and also one of the most personable.

    It is truly sad that he is ruining his gift.

    He has managed to gain a position from which he could benefit Haiti, and its people….without using a penny of his own money. He needed only pick up the phone and call people in high places. His star celebrity gave him a power than many of us could envy. He could have had unlimited access. However, with his irresponsible behaviour, and the inability to keep his pants zipped, Wyclef hs slammed many doors in his own face before he reached them.

    This is his loss.

    More importantly, it is Haiti’s loss. The Nation has few spokesmen and Wyclef was one of the best..


  2. Guess the entertainment community knows what Wyclef is doing.

    He is one of the two hosts – with George Clooney – in sponsoring an avent for Haiti. He controls a Haitian charity and he only gets a couple of percent of what is reaised.

    Guess the sponsors figured this was what he would normally charge for a charity appearance.

    Wyclef is toast.

    He has cried and tried to explain the inexplainable too many times.

    Like a cheated wife, Haiti will toss Wyclef on the trash heap.

  3. As subtle as putting hookers on the company American Express card thinking no one in the chain will ever break the news.

    Should have slipped her cash in a brown bag or left it on the night-stand as is the common practice in other parts of our society.

    Might not be deductible as a business expense – these ways – but it keeps a guy out of the headlines and divorce court.

    Why did his managers allow this type of stupidity?

  4. Here one of us makes it into the upper region of American society and then does the same as Preval and those criminals. Sadness hits me when I see these things. It is an embarrassment for all of us, not only Wyclef.

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