Guest Star: "Wyclef Admitted That He Cheated On His Wife With Lauryn Hill" -Aliya S. King
Friday, Jul 9, 2010 1:05PM
Private Jets! Gucci shopping sprees! Vacations! Money ain't a thing. This is the life of the rapper's wife. Or is it?
I'm a freelance writer and I love diving into an investigative piece to find the story behind the story. Several years ago, I was assigned a story about rappers' wives. Who are they? Where are they? Are they happy? Miserable?
Keep in mind, this was long before all you had to do was sneeze and you'd have a reality show. This was a time when you didn't even know your favorite artists had a girlfriend at all--much less a wife and kids.
I spent seven months of my life trailing five women all married to well known rap artists. And what I saw was mind-boggling.
I saw women spending money on shopping sprees that could have paid off my mortgage and my student loans. I saw lonely women who would trade it all to have their husbands home for dinner once in a while.
One woman I interviewed was Claudinette Jean, wife of Wyclef Jean. She showed me her showroom on 7th avenue, where she designs clothes.
It's a small operation and seems little more than a vanity project. I asked her straight up, why bother working when your man makes enough for both of you?
She looked me in the eye and sucked her teeth. "I have to matter," she told me. "I don't care if I only bring in 1% of our income, I will do my part."
After spending so much time with these women who seem to have it all, I realized that while love is blind, the platinum lifestyle can be blinding.
Wyclef admitted that he cheated on his wife with Lauryn Hill. Claudinette stayed. Why? Was it the blinding platinum love? Or was it true forgiveness. Or both?
I finished the story for VIBE. But the women's lives never left my thoughts. What would I do if my husband was a rap star? Would I stay if he cheated? Brought another child into the relationship? Gave me an STD? My first thought is H*LL NO. But noone knows what they would do when confronted with life's twist and turns, especially in a marriage.
I decided to write a novel based loosely on the women I interviewed. And that book became PLATINUM, published by Simon and Schuster and in stores now. PLATINUM follows four women in various relationships who have to deal with a lot: more than I think most women would. Or would they? How much money does it take for you to turn a blind eye to your husband's behavior? It's a question many women can ask themselves after reading PLATINUM. I had a blast writing it and I'm sure people (yes, both men and women) will love curling up with it on the beach or at the pool and losing themselves in a world they think they already know.
Aliya S. King is an award-winning journalist and a New York Times Bestselling Author. PLATINUM is her first novel and is in stores now. She lives in New Jersey with her family.
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