It's common knowledge that Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill have had a tumultuous relationship — the rift between the two singers is often cited as a primary reason for the downfall of The Fugees. But in his new memoir, Purpose, Wyclef for the first time reveals a particular incident that he says forever tarnished their bond. For the duration of her first pregnancy, Clef claims Lauryn led him to believe that the baby was his.
"Anyone who has seen the footage [of The 1997 Fugees concert in Haiti] might notice that Lauryn Hill was pregnant at that time. While we played those songs I believed that her child was mine," Wyclef writes, as excerpted by Necole Bitchie.
"For the next nine months, I assumed her child was mine. It was easy to do as we rode the wave of success. In my mind, it was complicated and dangerous, but it was beautiful, too: If Lauryn and I had a child together, it was, to me, a product of our music and everything we’d worked to achieve. It made sense to my heart, as much as I knew it was wrong in my mind."
At the time, Jean was married to Marie Claudette while Hill had been involved with Rohan Marley. It wasn't until the birth of the child, Hill's eldest son Zion, that Wyclef learned that Marley, not he, was the father.
"When Lauryn gave birth, I learned the truth: the child wasn’t mine. It was Rohan Marley’s," he says. "And in that moment something died between us. I was married and Lauryn and I were having an affair, but she had led me to believe that the baby was mine, and I couldn’t forgive that. [..] She could no longer be my muse. Our love spell was broken through her creation."
Hill went on to have four more children with Marley and Wyclef remains married to Claudinette to this day. The Fugees, however, disbanded shortly thereafter.
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(Photo: M. Caulfield/WireImage)