Wyclef Jean has admitted that his affair with Lauryn Hill broke up the Fugees. While he won’t confess to it outright, either in conversation or in his new memoir Purpose, he writes of an explosive affair with Hill that is so combustible that it’s no surprise it burned everything up around him.
The New York Daily News notes that Wyclef wrote:
“It was like we were two outlaws in love. We had fights on planes … We had huge fights, and a few times when it went down, she started swinging at me right there in the seats. People would scatter. We never got arrested, but we came close a few times in Europe.”
Of course, the affair with Lauryn happened while he was still married to his wife, Claudinette. Hill and Jean were two of the three members of the Fugees along with Pras Michel. They released a Grammy-winning album in 1996 but were gone from the music scene by 1997.
While Wyclef won’t say outright, “I broke up the Fugees,” he admits that it was his relationship with Hill that caused the group to fall apart. The singer also explains in the group that he is in no way responsible for what happened to Lauryn Hill, writing that:
“I’ve been told by many angry people who are also her fans that if I hadn’t messed with her, she would not have gone so insane.”
The Insider notes that, according to Wyclef Jean’s book, things went awry with Hill when she led him to believe that her first son, Zion, was his child, although the father was actually Rohan Marley, Bob’s son. Jean writes that:
“In that moment something died between us. I was married and Lauryn and I were having an affair, but she led me to believe that the baby was mine, and I couldn’t forgive that.”
Wyclef Jean stated that it was this betrayal that led the Fugees to break up.