10 Questions for Wyclef Jean
1 month ago
Wyclef discusses Haiti, his affair with Lauryn Hill, and why he would vote for Barack Obama if he could
In his memoir, "Purpose: An Immigrant's Story," Wyclef Jean writes about his early childhood in Haiti, growing up in "war zones" in Brooklyn and New Jersey, and the formation of the Fugees, but it's the section about his affair with Lauryn Hill that has been getting the most press this week. Jean spoke with Loop 21 about why he chose to share the details of his relationship with Hill, what he thinks would help heal his homeland of Haiti, and why he thinks Mitt Romney is the wrong choice for America.
Loop 21: Why did you decide to write a book?
Wyclef Jean: When my mom told me the story of my birth, how my father tore up a page from the bible, boiled it and gave it to her to drink so that I could be born, it instilled in me the gift of storytelling. I’ve been writing about my life—every time on the road, everything I was going through, I was writing down.
With everything that has been said about me on social media, everyone has an opinion about me. Wyclef the name is bigger than the actual person. It was important to get this memoir out of my chest. I had to do it so that at least now, for people that have an opinion of me, good or bad, they can say, ‘let me read who the hell this guy is.’ After they read, they can make their own concrete decision if they want to listen to my music, support my charity. It should be based on hearing the side of the actual person.
Loop 21: Why did you decide to share such candid details of your affair with Lauryn Hill in the book? There were several stories this week about how she led you to believe she was pregnant with your child; why share that information?
W.J.: When things happen and at least 100 people know what’s going on, I guarantee you they are going to start coming out of the woodwork with their versions of the story. What’s crazy about this story is that it was already out there. People already got their book called, “We saw Wyclef in the hospital but that wasn’t his baby.”
When you read the Bible, you have the gospel according to Matthew, John, Luke. Jesus had his version of his story, but there were still 12 disciples and at the end, they were all going to tell the same story, but everyone their own way. In writing the book I knew all these things about Lauryn were going to come out so I put it out there myself. I am the one who was in the hospital when she had the baby, I am the one who knew how I felt that day.
Loop 21: You write that Lauryn no longer trusts you, saying: "It's sad that we can't get back to a place where she can just think of me as her big brother." Are you surprised by her reaction? Do you think there's a way you could have remained friends, as you did with Pras?
W.J.: With Pras, it’s different. I wasn’t sleeping with him. At this age, of course, it is fixable, but the other individual has got to want to help.