Adventures in celebrity charity.
October 12, 2012 2:47 PM   Subscribe

“If I had depended on Yéle,” said Diaoly Estimé, whose orphanage features a wall painting of Mr. Jean and his wife, “these kids would all be dead by now.” (SLNYT)
posted by Nomyte (14 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Holy shit that is some serious embezzeling. I may have missed it in the article, but was Jean acting as CEO?
posted by griphus at 2:56 PM on October 12, 2012

He was until he attempted to run for president of Haiti in 2010.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:57 PM on October 12, 2012

What a sad turn of events.
posted by Forktine at 3:18 PM on October 12, 2012

Sad, but expected. The warning signs were all over this crap.

Is Jean a con man, or just incompetent? Or both?
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:41 PM on October 12, 2012

Jean, I want my $5 back
posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:06 PM on October 12, 2012

Mr. Jean, 40, writes with indignation about insinuations that he had used his charity, Yéle, for personal gain. He says he did not need to — “I have a watch collection worth $500,000”— and that doubters will someday understand “Yéle is Haiti’s greatest asset and ally.”

Long ago, I thought his reputation was overblown, given that he was scoring hits with such obscure covers as "Killing Me Softly," and "No Woman No Cry." There was a heavy whiff of fraud about him, to me, but my friends called me a hater.

Now he brags about his watch collection, and talks like every other tinpot dictator about his failed monument to himself. And he does this in regards to Haiti, which is more in need of honest leadership than almost any other country on the planet--the country which made malignant leadership an international brand.

You can make Carmel-by-the-Sea a vanity project. But Haitians have had their hopes raised and dashed a thousand times, and have been abused by the wealthy, for hundreds of years.

Mr. Jean will be in need of a great deal of forgiveness. I hope he has the humility to ask for it.
posted by oneironaut at 4:47 PM on October 12, 2012 [7 favorites]

“I have a watch collection worth $500,000”
posted by Flunkie at 5:20 PM on October 12, 2012

Even the wealthy steal.
posted by tommasz at 5:28 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I hope he has the humility to ask for it.

He won't. Given what I've heard about his charity and run for presidency, I'm inclined to give more credence to the things that Lauryn Hill has said about Wyclef.
posted by Edgewise at 5:39 PM on October 12, 2012

The Smoking gun had this covered a while back with paperwork

Part 1

Part 2

I am surprised any money at all made it to actual charitable activities
posted by kanemano at 6:21 PM on October 12, 2012

Oh man, it seemed like something was off when I bought the Yéle Haiti Earthkeepers boot and subsequently learned only $2 of the proceeds went to the charity. It's still a really good soft hiking boot but I scratched the logo off the tongue because ewwwww.
posted by last night a dj saved my life at 6:37 PM on October 12, 2012

I also called bullshit on this grifter and got yelled at my Tweeple.

So yeah, I was right and you were suckers.

And hopefully this fuckwit will end up in jail.
posted by bardic at 12:34 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Terrible. The poverty and corruption that continue to plague Haiti are heartbreaking.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:49 AM on October 13, 2012

Not surprising. I never donated to Yele. Instead, I donated to Partners In Health (the charity that Arcade Fire supports) for Haiti. I always felt that Regine cared more deeply for Haiti than Wyclef ever did.
posted by mike3k at 11:15 AM on October 13, 2012

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