Lauryn Hill today (May 6) was sentenced to three months in federal prison for failing to pay taxes on income she received from 2005-07. Hill faced up to three years behind bars after pleading guilty last year to charges that she failed to pay $1.8 million in taxes. However, she came in with a zero-hour payment before this afternoon’s hearing, as the singer’s attorney on Sunday claimed Hill had cobbled together over $900,000 to clear her outstanding debts.
During the sentencing hearing, Hill delivered a typically defiant statement. According to TMZ, she said, “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.” Hill’s prison term starts July 8, and the Newark judge also handed out an additional three months on house arrest followed by nine months on supervised release.
Just last week, the former member of The Fugees wrote an open letter addressing her tax case, wherein she revealed she had signed a new music deal with Sony. Presumably this was to help pay off her taxes, though her attorney said her recent payment came from “a combination of sources.” Days after Hill’s announcement, she made good on her promise of new music, releasing “Neurotic Society,” her first new track in years.