The Washington Post

Lauryn Hill pleads guilty to tax evasion, could face prison

Singer Lauryn Hill pleaded guilty today to tax evasion and could spend up to three years in jail for it, depending on her ability to pay back the taxes before a November sentencing, the Associated Press reports.

Reclusive singer Lauryn Hill arriving Friday in court. (Mel Evans/AP)

To quote one of her greatest hits with The Fugees, “Ready or Not,” “Those who could relate know the world ain't cake / Jail bars ain't golden gates.”

Hill appeared in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., where she admitted to failing to file tax returns on $1.5 million from 2005 through 2007. Her attorney, Nathan Hockman, said the star was being targeted by the federal government for her celebrity status. She faces up to a year in prison on each of the three tax evasion counts, as well as $75,000 in fines.

Hill had addressed her failure to pay the taxes in a lengthy blog post earlier this month that stated, “I abandoned greed, corruption, and compromise, never you, and never the artistic gifts and abilities that sustained me.” She said that she went “underground” to protect her family from the military industrial complex and the media, prompting more than a few raised eyebrows from readers of the rambling note.

An eight-time Grammy Award winner who rose to fame with the Fugees, Hill launched a solo career that began with critical darling “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” She has six children, five with Rohan Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley.

Hill’s attorney indicated that she plans to pay back the money she owes. She’s the latest in a long line of celebrities who have had scrapes with the IRS, including Wesley Snipes and Ja Rule.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
In search of the Delmarva fox squirrel
The most interesting woman you've never heard of
Play Videos
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul