Sean Penn's representative has fired back at Wyclef Jean after the rapper launched a bitter attack on the Hollywood actor and accused him of abusing drugs, insisting the allegations are "ludicrous".
The former Fugees star's recent bid to become president of his native Haiti was heavily criticized by Penn, who has been at the forefront of the nation's earthquake relief effort since the tremors struck in January. He claimed Jean had been absent from his homeland in the months following the devastating disaster, saying, "It would be nice if he visited once and awhile (sic)."
Jean's run for political office came to an end last month when Haiti electoral officials ruled him ineligible to enter the race to become the country's new leader, and he decided to air out his grievances by taking aim at his critics during a performance in New York on Friday. The hip-hop star changed the lyrics to his 2004 song President to blast the Oscar winner, singing, "I got a message for Sean Penn: Maybe he ain't (sic) see me in Haiti because he was too busy sniffing cocaine."
However, reformed bad boy Penn has brushed off the allegations and fuelled his war of words with Jean by suggesting the rapper has no idea how hard the relief work is for earthquake volunteers.
A statement released by Penn's spokesperson reads: "Mr. Jean is clearly unfamiliar with the physical demands put upon volunteers in Haiti. As aid workers there, the notion of depleting the body's immune system through the use of illicit drugs is ludicrous. More specifically, (Penn's charity) J/P Haitian Relief Organization (aka JPHRO) has a ZERO tolerance policy for any and all illegal drugs."
"As the leader of this organization, Sean Penn has not only set this policy, but adheres to it. That Mr. Jean would make such a false accusation is reckless and saddening, but not surprising."