LOS ANGELES – Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean spoke out Saturday in defense of his foundation after charity screening groups raised concerns about its accounting practices.
Jean said he was baffled by the timing and nature of criticism of The Wyclef Jean Foundation Inc., which has already raised more than $2 million to help earthquake victims.
“It is impossible for me to even comprehend the recent attacks on my character and the integrity of my foundation,” he said in a statement. “The fact that these attacks come as we are mobilized to meet the greatest human tragedy in the history of Haiti only serves to perplex me even further.”
Jean, a 37-year-old Grammy-winning artist, has been imploring followers to text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to his foundation in support of Haitian earthquake victims.
The foundation, also known as Yele Haiti, intends to airlift medical supplies, water and Clif Bars to Haiti using a FedEx plane early next week, according to foundation president Hugh Locke.
An Associated Press review of tax returns and independent audits provided by Jean’s foundation showed that it was closely intertwined with Jean’s businesses.
Jean said he has never profited personally through his work with the organization and he has committed significant amounts of his time and money to the charity.