Haiti native Wyclef Jean has done a lot of great work on behalf of his ravaged homeland since the January earthquake, including raising over $1 million in charitable donations and helping with relief efforts on site. However, Gawker has reported in the past about Wyclef's "financial shenanigans" within his charitable foundation, Yele Haiti, and the latest news is that the hip hop star has paid out quite a large chunk of the foundation's money to his mistress, Zakiya Khatou-Chevassus.
Whether Wyclef is cheating on his wife isn't really the issue here. Because, even though he's been with his wife for 14 years, he's admitted that theirs is an open marriage. So, great. That's between them. He can swing all he wants. But if he's giving one of his side chicks money that should be going either directly to Haiti or back into the foundation for legitimate business expenses, that's a problem.
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According to Yele Haiti's 2008 tax return, which was posted this week by the Smoking Gun, the charity paid Khatou-Chevassus $105,000 as an independent contractor in 2008 for 'program development.' That amounts to roughly one-third of all the money Yele spent that year on management and general expenses.
So what did she do for that money? 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. [Source: Gawker]
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What is Wyclef thinking? All of this shady business only detracts from the good work that he's done in Haiti. And if this kind of nonsense continues, it will completely overshadow that work. In the meantime, anyone wishing to donate money to Haiti is urged to do so through one of the larger, top-rated charities like the American Red Cross, CARE, or Oxfam. Brangelina, Wyclef And Tiger Lead Haiti Donations
Photo via Bauer Griffin.