Remember Lauryn Hill?
After winning eight Grammys, Lauryn Hill fell off the map.
She admitted in federal court in Newark on Friday that she had not filed tax returns from 2005 to 2007, a period during which she earned more than $1.5 million. She faces a maximum of one year in prison on each count. Ms. Hill, 37, of South Orange, N.J.
In pleading guilty, Hill admitted she failed to pay taxes on about $818,000 earned in 2005; $222,000 in 2006 and $761,000 in 2007. She owns four corporations — Creations Music Inc., Boogie Tours Inc., L.H. Productions 2001 Inc. and Studio 22 Inc. — and generates most of her income from royalties from the recording and film industries.
Hill says in her Tumblr statement that her intention “has always been to get this situation rectified,” the 37-year-old New Jersey native wrote about her tax situation. She explained that she “left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it.”
“When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes,” the former Fugees star 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.”
To that end, “I have remained what others would consider underground” for the past “several years,” Hill further explained of her lengthy absence from the spotlight.
“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,” she continued.
“I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period. Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution.”
The mother of six could face up to three years in prison and at least $75,000 in fines when she is sentenced in November.