Music Artist Lauryn Hill Claims She Didn’t Pay Taxes to Protect Her Family
It wasn’t too long ago that the soul artist Lauryn Hill was the ultimate music “it” girl. Over the course of her short 37 years, she has won over 30 awards (including an American Music Award and numerous MTV and NAACP awards) and actually, Hill made history for being the first female solo artist to win five Grammys in one year for her LP, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill back in 1998.
Yet, as what tends to happen to so many gifted musicians, her personal life eventually pushed her talents out of the spotlight. From the many rumors surrounding her role in the ultimate demise of the hip-hop group the Fugees, to her on again/off again relationship with her children’s father, Rohan Marley (one of the sons of the late great Ziggy Marley) to random concert cancellations and speculations of her mental and emotional health and well-being, she has made a lot of headlines.
Including the latest one. It’s actually an issue that could end up having the biggest effect on her life of all: her tax evasion charges. In 2012, Hill plead guilty to the charges of failing to file her taxes between the years of 2005-2007. And while that is certainly not rare to hear about when it comes to a celebrity, what has caused her to get more media (and judicial) attention than most is her admittance of doing so intentionally and willingly. Yes, during those two years, Hill reportedly earned close to 2 million dollars but didn’t report her earnings. On purpose.
When asked about why she decided to avoid paying her taxes, her reason was not one that we tend to hear very often as a defense. According to Hill, she did so in order to maintain her integrity and to protect her family.
Protect her family from what? Hill claims that the reason why she pulled away from the limelight, at large, was due to the fact that threats were being made on her life and the lives of her loved ones. And so, she felt it was best to “go under the radar” when it came to recording, performing and yes, even filing her taxes so that her life could be off of public record.
The open letter that she posted on her Tumblr page close to a year ago addresses everything from references of black listing and media bullying to her feeling that she herself had been financially slighted for many of the artistic contributions that she made. So, while celeb gossipmight have perceived her actions to be odd or radical, according to Hill, she was simply taking the necessary steps to insure her own protection as well as her children’s.
Although her public statements definitely raise from valid points, there’s a pretty good chance that the courts will not be 100 percent sympathetic. There are many people who endure social pressures and they still find a way to file and pay their taxes.
For Hill, her day of reckoning will come on April 22 when she receives her sentencing; one that could include up to five years in prison and some pretty hefty fines. Ironically, the woman who was trying to stay out of the media is currently in it in a really big way.
Here’s hoping she gets the probation that she requests and the peace of mind that she longs for. Oh, and that she did make a point to file this year.