His country facing a veritable apocalypse, Wyclef Jean took time out Monday to make an impassioned plea for help and yet another emotional defense of his charitable motives.

Days after The Smoking Gun posted financial records suggesting his Yéle Haiti Foundation may have enriched the former Fugee, Wyclef reiterated remarks from this weekend and insisted that all donations were going directly to help his homeland.

"Have I made mistakes? Yes," Jean said a press conference in New York Monday. "Did I use Yéle money for personal gains? Absolutely not. The books are open. We have a clean bill of health from an auditor."

The 37-year-old musician and his organization have been at the forefront of relief efforts in Haiti, rallying support from politicians and Hollywood bigwigs like George Clooney.

"We went inside the belly of the beast," Jean said. "I was the one carrying the little girls to the morgue. In reality, my people are dying. I have to go back for relief. I do not cry for myself, I cry for them."

Because the destruction is so severe, Jean called for a mass exodus from the capital. 

"I am asking the world to move 2 million people out of Port-au-Prince," Jean said. "If I ask them to leave they will leave. We need to keep Haiti alive."

On the opposite coast, Larry King played host to a special two-hour telethon on CNN Monday, featuring appearances by Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Seacrest, Paula Abdul, Mick Jagger, Ben Stiller, Snoop Dogg, Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, Téa Leoni and Will.i.am, along with performances by John Mayer and Seal.

"Everybody pulling together, it makes me proud to be a human being," said Lopez.

Other celebs, including Benicio Del Toro, Susan Sarandon, Alyssa Milano, David Spade, Ashley Judd, Christian Slater, Jeff Probst, Jared Leto, Danny Glover and Pete Wentz, manned the phone lines.

The CNN benefit, a precursor to Clooney's all-star affair set to air on Friday with performances from U2, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen and others, raised about $5 million for the American Red Cross' relief efforts—$1,000 of that from Leto's winning bid for the suspenders King was wearing.

Meanwhile, John Travolta, Bette Midler, Usher and Josh Duhamel also pitched in.

Travolta is planning to personally fly aid into Haiti.

"I have arranged for a plane to take down some volunteer ministers and some supplies and some medics," Travolta told Entertainment Tonight. "My church has also arranged for 80 medics and 33 volunteers to go down. I hope that inspires others as well. It's needed."

Duhamel is participating in a two-mile beach run in Santa Monica on Jan. 23 that will benefit earthquake victims. 

"If you're like me, you've seen the pain and suffering going on in Haiti right now, and really feel the need to help, to physically help-to actually DO SOMETHING, " Duhamel tweeted Monday. "Well, I think we can!"

The run will be used as a fund-raising vehicle for the American Red Cross. Those interested can RSVP at youthrun4haiti.com.

Usher has partnered up with the United Nations Foundation to send aid, encouraging young people worldwide to join in. 

"If only 1 percent of the world's youth population raised $5 each, we could raise $150 million to support the United Nations' relief efforts," he said in a statement. 

Amassed donations for Usher's initiative can be sent via www.ushersnewlook.org or by texting "CERF" to 90999 to donate $5 to the cause. 

Finally, Midler announced that she will collect monetary donations from fans at her Las Vegas show and match the amount she receives up until her final performance of The Showgirl Must Go On at Caesars Palace on Jan. 31.

Thus far, Midler has raised $38,742.62 for Doctors Without Borders.

(Originally published Jan. 18, 2009, at 3:46 p.m. PT)


To find out what other stars are doing to help Haiti and how you can aid relief efforts, click here.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.