According to Wyclef Jean, and the people around him, ‘Clef (as the kids here call him) was driving down Delmas 65 in downtown Port-au-Prince Saturday night around midnight when he got a phone call. Because Wyclef does not like talking on the phone in front of his driver (weird, I know…), he told the driver to stop the car so he could hop out and have the phone conversation privately on the side of the road. While having said conversation, Wyclef claims to have heard a gun shot, after which he looked at his hand and saw blood dripping from his palm onto his shoe. Wyclef had been shot! The bullet had grazed his palm!!! Right?!
Well, according to Haitian police, Wyclef refused to talk to them about the incident, and some people think he just cut himself on a piece of glass. That’s right! Rumors are flying that he made the whole thing up, and that the whole gun shot incident is just a story. Why he would make up something like this is beyond me, but I can venture some guesses. Maybe he got in an embarrassing argument with a can of pickles that just wouldn’t open, and needed a better explanation for his injury than “I just could not open that jar of pickles, so I broke it…on my hand.” Maybe he’s looking for some street cred in anticipation of his next hit album. Maybe he actually got shot, who knows?
But what we do know is that he’s not shy about the injury whatsoever. In fact, while voting today at a polling center on Delmas 29, he made it a point to insert the ballots into the ballot boxes not with his good, un-shot (and completely functional) hand, but with the bandaged hand that required a polling center employee to assist him in the process. He then walked out and gave several interviews to various press organizations about the incident. He explained to my friend Allyn, who was working for CNN, that he didn’t want this to be a distraction to such a historic election. Hmmm…
Wyclef refused to speculate as to who could have possibly shot him in the hand, and because he refuses to talk to police it sounds like justice in this case may never be served. But I think we were all taught an important lesson from this incident: that you should NEVER stop on the side of the road in Port-au-Prince at midnight on a Saturday and get out of your car to take a phone call. You live and you learn, right?
And P.S. He voted for Martelly. More on that later.