Iconic songstress Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to jail for up to 3 months after being found guilty of tax evasion. More than $1 million in income was amassed by Hill between 2005 and 2007 but no tax was paid on any of it. As well as the jail term, The Fugees member will also have to pay a fine of $60,000 (approx) and be placed on 3-month home arrest, and will be under parole for 12 months.
Despite pleading guilty to the charges in court this week, during her arrest last year Hill openly compared her situation to that of her slave ancestors, stating, “I am a child of former slaves who had a system imposed on them,” she said. “I had an economic system imposed on me” This argument was quickly shut down by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser who described the statement as “a parade of excuses centering around her feeling put upon.”
Also in court, Hill attempted to justify her actions by explaining she was left ill equipped to handle financial ruin after stepping away from the music industry to protect herself and her children, writes NME, “There were veiled threats, there was blacklisting… I was told, ‘That’s how it goes, it comes with the territory.'” she continued to add “I came to be perceived as a cash cow and not a person. When people capitalise on a persona, they forget there is a person in there.”
Hill, who will be sent to a currently unnamed prison, has so far paid back $900,000 of the debt, which doesn’t include interest and penalties.