Mildred Trouillot

Mildred Trouillot

Mildred Trouillot-Aristide (born 1963) is an American lawyer who married Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former President of Haïti, in 1996.

Mildred Trouillot grew up in the Bronx. Both her father, Emile, and mother, Carmelle, were natives of Haïti. He left Haïti in 1958, she in 1960. They found work in New York, where Emile worked in a steel factory. Carmelle worked as a laboratory technician.

Mildred graduated from St. Barnabas High School, City College of New York, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She practiced commercial litigation for the Manhattan law firm of Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn, and Berman. She met Aristide at a lecture he gave in 1992. In 1994, she went to work for Aristide's government in exile in Washington, D.C. as a speechwriter, as well as doing legal work.

They married on January 20, 1996, in a simple ceremony in Port-au-Prince. It was a controversial marriage in Haïti. Aristide was elected President while he was a Catholic priest, and had given up the priesthood by the time he married Mildred.

The couple have two daughters, Christine Aristide, born in November 1996, and Michaelle Aristide, born in 1998.


As reported in the New York Times, controversy arose in Haiti over Aristide's marrying Mildred Trouillot ([1]):

... Aristide's choice of a light-skinned wife has also aroused concerns among some followers. For much of Haiti's nearly 200-year history as a republic, a rigid social and economic caste system has been based largely on the lightness of one's skin. To some, the marriage of the dark-skinned Aristide to the light-skinned Ms. Trouillot comes as a disappointment, almost a betrayal... Aristide was already married to the Haitian people, said Olrich Charles, a sports instructor in Port-au-Prince, the capital. This is like a divorce, only three times: first from his supporters, then from his class and finally from the church.

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