Lauryn Hill filed legal documents asking for mercy before her sentencing this month, saying threats against her family kept her from paying taxes in 2005, ’06 and ’07. She earned more than $1.8 million during that period.
TMZ reports that the Grammy award-winning artist said in documents that “when she withdrew from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family.”
She did not reveal any details about the exact nature of the threats, however.
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Though on her Tumblr page–which is no longer live–back in June of last year, Hill published a post detailing why she refused to pay:
“For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground. I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda. Having put the lives and needs of other people before my own for multiple years, and having made hundreds of millions of dollars for certain institutions, under complex and sometimes severe circumstances, I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance.
As my potential to work, and therefore earn freely, was being threatened, I did whatever needed to be done in order to insulate my family from the climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism that I was surrounded by. This was absolutely critical while trying to find and establish a new and very necessary community of healthy people, and also heal and detoxify myself and my family while raising my young children.
Hill, who is hoping to get probation, is asking the judge to consider a number of factors before her sentencing, including her claim that she could pay her debts off faster if she is not locked up.
She faces more than three years in prison if the judge wants to put her behind bars.