Wyclef Jean Responds to Sean Penn's Criticism

Published August 6, 2010

To let Wyclef Jean tell it, Sean Penn got it twisted. Only hours after the Oscar winning actor called Jean's presidential race "suspicious," the former Fugees frontman is speaking out.

“I just want Sean Penn to fully understand I am a Haitian, born in Haiti and I’ve been coming to my country ever since (I was) a child," Clef said. "He might just want to pick up the phone and meet, so he fully understands the man.”

Jean appeared on "Larry King Live" to speak on his bid to become Haiti's next president last night (August 6). Shortly after questioning Clef on his eligibility to run for office, CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer asked Sean Penn to weigh in on Jean's bid.  

"The last thing in the world Haiti needsand I'm not accusing Wyclef Jean of being an opportunist, I don't know the man," Penn told Blitzer. "But I think it's extremely important that we pay great attention to the individuals in the United States who are enamored with him, maybe not for his political strenghts and in particular for corporate interests that are enamored with him and those that made themselves opportunists on the back of the Haitian people."

"One of the reasons I don't know very much about Wyclef Jean is I haven't seen or heard anything of him in these last six months that I've been in Haiti," he later added. "I think he's an important voice. I hope he doesn't sacrifice that voice by taking the eye off the very devastating realities on the ground."

Written by Carl Chery, BET.com Staff

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