Why Wyclef Clearly Isn’t Lauryn Hill’s “Biggest Fan”September 20th, 2012
By Arielle Loren
As I read an excerpt of Wyclef Jean’s new memoir, Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story, I mostly shook my head. Paragraph after paragraph, Clef attempted to explain the complicated nature of his tumultuous affair with Lauryn Hill while being in a relationship and eventually married to his wife, Claudette.
“It’s hard to explain, but I was in love with both of them. I was torn between the impossible love affair, the whirlwind artist romance, and the solid, good woman who demanded respect. The solid woman had her passion, too. So my life became crazy, because I was in the middle and each of them was passionate about me in different ways. One side was all bound up with music and discovery and my own self-expression. The other side was all about intellect and wisdom and helping me to mature. I did not know what to do; I just knew I had to do something. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. It wasn’t clean and simple,” wrote Jean.
I applaud him for his honesty, and halfway making himself vulnerable by telling his side of the story. I agree that it is possible to love two people simultaneously for different reasons, and I believe him when he says he loved Lauryn and Claudette.
However, I’m a bit concerned about the motive behind sharing the intimate details of his relationship with Lauryn, fifteen years after The Fugees disbanded. The situation is rather irrelevant now, as the group, Wyclef included, has made it clear that they likely won’t get back together, and their music, forever immortalized as a hip hop relic.
Wyclef later writes that he’s Lauryn’s “biggest fan,” and that no one is more upset than him about her emotional instability since the release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. He also reveals that he ended his relationship with Lauryn, not because of all the emotional drama they were perpetuating between each other, but rather because she led him to believe that her first child, Zion, was his when it turned out to be Rohan Marley’s.
If Clef really loved Ms. Hill romantically and is really her “biggest fan,” an intimately explosive memoir about their relationship and the paternity conflict involving her now teenage son, isn’t the way to express his support or love for a woman, or her family, that is still working through her emotional instability.
It’s not a revelation that Lauryn and Clef had an affair. Everyone knew that. But it is clear that Clef is still mad and seeking sympathy for a destructive relationship that he played a deep role in. He’s angry that Lauryn’s son wasn’t his. He’s done with being casted as the bad guy, responsible for The Fugees break up. But more than anything, I read a guy who wants the world to know the humanity of Lauryn Hill, and not in a pleasant or fair way.
Everyone is entitled to write his or her stories. However, it doesn’t mean that everyone has to sympathize with those stories. I, for one, have more sympathy now for Lauryn Hill than ever. I hope she’s shielding herself from all the unnecessary attention Clef has brought to a relationship that’s over fifteen years in the past.
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