Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to three months in prison for failing to pay taxes on about $1.8 million in earnings.
The 37-year-old Fugees frontwoman appeared in a Newark courtroom on Monday where a judge handed down her sentencing. In addition to three months behind bars, she faces three additional months of home confinement followed by nine months of supervised release.
During a statement to the judge, Ms. Hill explained that it was always her intent to pay the taxes, but she was unable to during her hiatus from 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,” she told the judge.
“I was put into a system I didn’t know the nature of. … I’m a child of former slaves. I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me,” she continued. “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.”
Before the sentencing, her attorney said that she had paid more than $970,000 to satisfy the state and federal tax liabilities. She signed a new deal with Sony to help pay off some of the debt.
Over the weekend, she released a new song, “Neurotic Society,” the first release from her new label venture, Obverse Creation Music/Sony ATV.
She has until July 8 to report to prison.