It wasn't a miseducation that led Lauryn Hill to evade her taxes for three years in a row back in 2005 — it was a threat on her family, she says in new legal documents.
The "Doo Wop" singer and Fugees member filed papers on Monday, April 15, stating that the reason why she failed to file tax returns in 2005, 2006, and 2007 was that "she withdrew from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family."
Hill initially rose to prominence in the early 90s as one part of the hip hop trio, alongside Wyclef Jean and Prakazrel "Pras" Michel. But it was her solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, released in August 1998, that is still widely considered one of the best and most influential albums ever.
The singer seemingly left the music scene at the peak of her fame in the early 2000s, however, which she also attributed to threats that she and her family were facing at the time.
"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 wrote on her blog in June 2012.
Hill, 37, is mother to six children — Zion David-Nesta, Selah, Joshua, John, Sarah, and Micah (her five oldest kids are by Bob Marley's son, Rohan Marley).
The singer reportedly made more than $1.8 million during that period. Hill, 37, pled guilty to charges of income tax evasion in June 2012 and may face jail time if convicted.
Hill's current plea is for the court to reexamine her reasons for failing to file her taxes — stating that it will in fact be more difficult for her to pay off her massive debt from behind bars.
The judge will make a decision later this month, on April 22.