Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to three months in prison for failing to pay taxes on $1.8 million in earnings.
The Grammy winner was also sentenced to three additional months of home confinement Monday.
Hill told the judge that she had always intended to pay her taxes, but was unable to after dropping out of the music business.
“I needed to be able to earn so I could pay my taxes, without compromising the health and welfare of my children, and I was being denied that,” Hill said. The mother of six said she hadn’t paid her taxes because of threats made against her family.
Hill’s attorney said the singer paid more than $970,000 to satisfy state and federal tax liabilities. The 37-year-old was facing a maximum sentence of one year each on three counts, but her attorney sought probation. It is unclear where and when Hill will report to prison.
Hill was originally scheduled to be sentenced two weeks ago, but the sentencing was postponed in order to give the singer extra time to pay up. Hill signed a new record deal with Sony on April 26 and released her first new single, “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)” over the weekend. However, Hill wasn’t thrilled about the circumstances leading up to the song’s release.
“Here is a link to a piece that I was ‘required’ to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline. I love being able to reach people directly, but in an ideal scenario, I would not have to rush the release of new music … but the message is still there,” Hil wrote on her official Tumblr page. “In light of Wednesday’s tragic loss (of former label mate Chris Kelly), I am even more pressed to YELL this to a multitude that may not understand the cost of allowing today’s unhealthy paradigms to remain unchecked!”
Are you surprised it took Lauryn Hill this long to pay her taxes?
[Photo credit: GooWakJai / Flickr.com]