Did Wyclef Use His Charity To Pay Mistress?

News

Clover Hope / March 12, 2010

Wyclef Jean has already come under scrutiny for the reported faulty practices of his charity organization, Yele Haiti. Now he’s in the hot seat again after being accused of giving money from the foundation to his alleged mistress.

The Smoking Gun revealed earlier this week that Yele’s 2008 tax returns showed the organization paying $105,000 to Jean’s former personal assistant, Zakiya Khatou-Chevassu, for independent contracting.

Gawker.com spoke to several sources who revealed that Jean and Khatou-Chevassus—Yele’s listed vice president—had a non-secretive relationship. “She worked for Wyclef on all Wyclef matters. She did whatever Wyclef needed that day, whether it was related to Yele or not,” said the source. “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 also stated that Khatou-Chevassus’ salary was significantly higher that of Yele Haiti’s program director.

Gawker cites a history of Jean personally profiting from Yele Haiti, including allegedly using the organization to fund his businesses.

Quickly following the devastating earthquakes in Haiti, Yele became one of the organizations many people donated to, largely due to Wyclef’s avid campaigning. But then the organization’s accounting practices were questioned.

When Wyclef appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show earlier this year, he defended his organization and vehemently denied ever using Yele for personal gain. He also released a homemade video refuting the allegations.

“Not only do I denounce all these statements about Wyclef profiting from his own foundation… I never and would ever take money for my personal pocket when it comes to Yele. I myself have put a million dollars into my own foundation. Not only do I denounce all that, I’m digusted.”

Although Jean is married, he has admitted that he and his wife, Marie Claudinette, have an open relationship. The rap mogul was in the gossip mill recently due to reports that his wife discovered a nude photo of his former manager in his cell phone.