Lauryn Hill: I Didn’t Pay Taxes Because I Faced “Danger” And Went “Underground”
On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced that Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill failed to pay taxes between 2005 and 2007 on $1.6 million of income and charged her with tax evasion. Hill spoke out about the accusations in a breathtaking statement posted on her Tumblr. The NJ resident said that there were dangers in being “manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda” so she retreated “underground” with her family to protect them. “When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned [earlier], I filed and paid my taxes. This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.”
The feds’ statement said, “Hill owns and operates four corporations in addition to being an entertainer: Creations Music, Inc., Boogie Tours, Inc., L.H. Productions 2001, Inc. and Studio 22, Inc. Her primary source of income is royalties from the recording and film industries. During the three years she failed to file tax returns, Hill received more than $1.6 million in income.” Hill’s statement (and you really must read the whole thing) says in part:
When artists experience danger and crisis under the effects of this kind of insidious manipulation, everyone easily accepts that there was something either dysfunctional or defective with the artist, rather than look at, and fully examine, the system and its means and policies of exploiting/’doing business’. Not only is this unrealistic, it is very dark in its motivation, conveniently targeting the object of their hero worship by removing any evidence that they ‘needed’ or celebrated this very same resource just years, months or moments before. Since those who believe they need a hero/celebrity outnumber the actual heroes/celebrities, people feel safe and comfortably justified in numbers, committing egregious crimes in the name of the greater social ego. Ironically diminishing their own true hero-celebrity nature in the process…
During this period of crisis, much was said about me, both slanted and inaccurate, by those who had become dependent on my creative force, yet unwilling to fully acknowledge the importance of my contribution, nor compensate me equitably for it. This was done in an effort to smear my public image, in order to directly affect my ability to earn independently of this system. It took a long time to locate and nurture a community of people strong enough to resist the incredibly unhealthy tide, and more importantly see through it. If I had not been able to make contact with, and establish this community, my life, safety and freedom, would have been directly affected as well as the lives, safety and freedom of my family. Failure to create a non toxic, non exploitative environment was not an option.
As my potential to work, and therefore earn freely, was being threatened, I did whatever needed to be done in order to insulate my family from the climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism that I was surrounded by. This was absolutely critical while trying to find and establish a new and very necessary community of healthy people, and also heal and detoxify myself and my family while raising my young children.
When the government approached her, Hill claims she told them as much, “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.” In other words, the feds are saying, “Here I Come, You Can’t Hide Gonna Find You and Take it Slowly.”
The mother of six is scheduled to appear in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Shipp on June 29, 2012. The counts each carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.