Singer Lauryn Hill says family safety came before taxes

Fri Jun 8, 2012 8:11pm EDT

(Reuters) - Reclusive Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill responded on Friday to charges of failing to file federal income tax returns, saying she had chosen to "defer" payments during a period of withdrawal from society to protect her family's safety.

Hill, 37, who has not released an album since 2001 and has made only sporadic public appearances in the past six years, issued a lengthy statement on her tumblr website one day after being charged with failing to file taxes for three years.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Hill, best known for her Grammy-winning 1998 album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," filed no federal returns from 2005 to 2007 despite an income of more than $1.8 million primarily from film and recording royalties.

"My intention has always been to get this situation rectified," the former member of the Fugees wrote on Friday.

Hill is scheduled to appear in court in New Jersey on the tax charges on June 29.

In her statement, Hill said she had only stopped paying taxes "when it was necessary to withdraw from society in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family."

Hill, who has six children, gave few specifics in her rambling statement, in which she railed against manipulation by "a media protected military industrial complex", the commercialization of the music industry and of having her freedom of speech compromised.

"I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns!" she said.

"Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution," she said.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bill Trott)

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Comments (3)
boulechsd wrote:
You can “withdraw from society” and still pay your taxes!! We all have to pay…even you, Lauryn Hill….what wa sick excuse for income tax evasion….

Jun 10, 2012 3:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
boulechsd wrote:
what a sorry excuse for income tax evasion!!

Jun 10, 2012 5:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GrimLeRogue wrote:
Anyone can tell from reading her statement that she is in desperate fear for her life; and the music industry mafia is using scare tactics to strong arm her and she was just trying to make sure she never ran out of $ to a point where they could attach their fangs to her & she’d be helpless. She is obviously not a criminal but the govt can be bought & is now punishing her as a compensation for not protecting her like the govt vows to do for us. Praise Ms. Lauryn Hill for not folding to those gangsters! I admire you since DAY ONE! Shame on the bullies who root for her collapse. You peons are not worthy to be spit on by her courageous saliva. Love you, Ms. Hill! People need to rally behind and support her, lest they Michael Jackson Whitney her. Come on these are devils in that music bizness! the DEVIL and all you punk musicians who allow yourself to be muzzled silent (while acting tough and bad) as she fights for your freedom to create unmuzzled by Satan. come on you aggressive herbs; Lauryn Hill is far more tough than any of you gun-waving stooges. And to you cowardly r & b singers who admire her, SPEAK UP! This woman’s life is on the line!!!!! If you doubt the music industry mafia is in bed with the I.R.S. think back to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich denouncing Bank of America; then being arrested the VERY NEXT DAY! This is no different. Lauryn last week spoke out against music industry intimidation tactics at Summer Jam; & boom, the I.R.S. on her!! hmmm Tila Tequila and Randy Quaid are being menaced by similar gangsters to the ones menacing Ms. Hill

Jun 10, 2012 11:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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