Wyclef Jean gives emotional press conference

US singer Wyclef Jean broke down in tears as he promised his fellow Haitians that he would be back to help them in their time of need, after denying reports that the money raised by his charity was used for personal gain.

Clutching a handkerchief and speaking in his native tongue of Creole, he spoke at a press conference that was broadcast live on his Yéle Haiti foundation website.


The 37-year-old singer said: ‘I have asked the Haitian people… [who have] got to be suffering… I told them that I don’t cry for myself, that I cry for them. I tell them just… give us… a little more time.

‘We’re going to be back on the ground on Saturday and we are going to be back on the ground every week to help the situation.’

Jean later translated what he said for the English-speaking journalists.

Earlier, in an impassioned statement, he denied allegations that the money he has raised through his charitable foundation, which he founded in 2005, was being used for his own profit.

Admitting that he had been told not to mention the controversy before he took to the stage, he said: ‘Did I ever use Yéle money for personal [gain]? Absolutely not.

‘Yéle’s books are open and transparent and we have been [given] a clean bill of health by an external auditor, every year since we started.’

Jean also told reporters that he had just returned from a three-day trip to the earthquake-ravaged island and had helped pull dead bodies from the rubble.

Confident that he and his organisation can secure the country at a time of massive violence and looting, he told journalists to ‘trust’ him, as his countrymen would listen to him.