Wyclef Jean's Yéle Haiti, a nonprofit organization that has delivered water and supplies to the earthquake-ravaged country, is under fire yet again for alleged misappropriation of funds.
Back in late January, shortly after the 7.0 earthquake hit, Yéle Haiti was criticized for spending money on production crews in previous years, and Jean himself was accused of using money from the organization for his personal use. Jean admitted mistakes in the past, but denied wrongdoing and said he'd never take money from the organization, during an emotional press conference.
On Thursday, March 11, The Smoking Gun printed Yéle Haiti's 2009 tax return, showing that $105,000 was paid to Zakiya Khatou-Chevassus, a woman several sources say is the rapper's mistress.
Khatou-Chevassus is currently listed on Yele's web site as the organization's vice president. But according to five sources familiar with Yele's operations, in 2008 she served as Jean's personal assistant--working on his commercial endeavors as well as his charitable ones--and was involved romantically with the former Fugees star.
"She worked for Wyclef on all Wyclef matters," says one source who has worked with Jean in the past. "She did whatever Wyclef needed that day, whether it was related to Yele or not. She would do things like book flights, and she wasn't very good at it. It's a shame that she made that much money." The source said Khatou-Chevassus' salary amounted to more than three times what Suzie Sylvain, Yele Haiti's dedicated program director who is credited by many Yele Haiti insiders with actually keeping the organization running, was paid.
Jean has again come to his defense, this time on Twitter. Some of his tweets from Monday, March 15, include:
•When Donkeys spread rumors about me I dont Respond cause I'm the master that leads them to the Well to drink the Water. Yele haiti 4 life!
•I have been spending money n my country since I was a Fugees! why is it now after the Quake I am being Excuse! They fear I'm gaining ground
•And don't get it twisted! My Garage could fit half of the people on twitter why would I steal Charity Money! Your gotta come better den dat.