Lauryn Hill has pled guilty to stiffing the federal government for more than three years. The Grammy Award-winning crooner owes more than $1.5 million in back taxes because she didn’t file from 2005 through 2007. Hill is facing one year in jail and more than $100,000 in fines. The mother of five isn’t surrendering to the allegations without retorting. She’s coming out swinging.
Hill has reportedly filed court documents responding to the charges. According to TMZ, Hill claims she didn’t report more than $1.8 million in earned income because “she withdrew from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family.”
The “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” songstress has also used this defense to explain her absence from the music world. She referenced similar “threats” in a Tumblr letter published in 2012.
“Over-commercialization and its resulting restrictions and limitations can be very damaging and distorting to the inherent nature of the individual,” Hill wrote. “I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns! I also embraced my right to resist a system intentionally opposing my right to whole and integral survival.”
Hill also said in her Tumblr post that she had intentions on rectifying the tax evasion allegations with the proper authorities.
“My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes,” she wrote. “This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.”
The former Fugees-star will face the judge on April 22. Hill is requesting probation so she can pay off the debt faster.