Lauryn Hill has responded to the case brought against her by the IRS for nonpayment of taxes. In a statement released Friday (June 8), Hill offered a long, if rambling, explanation for her neglect that involved the “military industrial complex” and the need for her and her family to retreat from a “climate of hostility.”

“For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground,” she wrote. “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.”

She went on to condemn music industry practices that used “sabotage, black listing and media bullying” of artists. She talked about her self-imposed mainstream exile in order to protect her family from a lifestyle that “required distortion and compromise.”

“There were no exotic trips, no fleet of cars, just an all out war for safety, integrity, wholeness and health, without mistreatment denial, and/or exploitation,” she wrote. “I used my resources to sustain our safety and survival until I was able to restore my ability to earn outside of it!”

As previously reported the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Newark, New Jersey has charged the former Fugees singer with three counts of willfully failing to file income tax returns. The Grammy winning rapper-singer reportedly failed to pay the IRS taxes on more than $1.8 million.

Hill reportedly did not file returns with the IRS in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The artist is listed as owning four corporations: Creations Music, Inc., Boogie Tours, Inc., L.H. Productions 2001 Inc. and Studio 22 Inc.

In her recent statement, Hill said she tried to explain her predicament to the IRS, to no avail.

“I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period,” 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.”

Hill faces up to one year in prison and $100,000 fine for each count and is set to appear in a federal court June 29.

-E. Parker, CBS Local


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