Lauryn Hill Sentenced to Three Months for Tax Evasion
Singer Lauryn Hill, 37, was sentenced Monday to three months in federal prison plus another three months of house arrest for failing to pay taxes on an estimated $1 million in earnings.
The sentencing came after Hill delivered a strongly worded statement in court Monday in Newark, N.J., the Associated Press reports, in which she explained that she had meant to one day pay the taxes but was unable to after retreating from the recording industry for unspecified reasons.
"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, a mother of six, told the judge.
"I was put into a system I didn't know the nature of," Hill continued, according to TMZ . "I'm a child of former slaves. I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me. ... I sold 50 million units. ... Now, I'm up here paying a tax debt. If that's not likened to slavery, I don't know what is."
Several weeks ago, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser claimed in court that Hill -- a former member of influential hip-hop group Fugees -- recently signed a deal with Sony Music which would pay her $1 million in exchange for five new songs. Hill countered that while a deal was in place, the figures were "inaccurate."
A Sony Music spokeswoman had no comment.