Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in prison on Monday (May 6), after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges.
Hill, who admitted last year that she “intentionally and willingly” ignored her responsibility to file yearly tax returns on more than $1.5 million of income between 2005 and 2007, was also sentenced to an additional three months of home confinement, according to The Associated Press.
It’s not clear when Hill will report to prison, or where she’ll serve her sentence, though she was facing a maximum penalty of three years behind bars — one for each year she failed to pay taxes. She was also accused by in native New Jersey of failing to pay more than $446,000 in state taxes , though her attorney confirmed to the AP that Hill had already paid more than $970,000 to satisfy her federal and state tax liabilities.
During a statement to the judge that the AP described as “forceful,” Hill said she had always meant to eventually pay the taxes, but was unable to do so because she took a lengthy hiatus from the music industry. She had recently inked a reported $1 million deal with Sony, and on Saturday, she released “Neurotic Society,” her first piece of new music in nearly three years … though, she made it very clear that she was doing so only because her hand was forced.
“Here is a link to a piece that I was ’required’ to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline,” Hill wrote in a letter posted on her Facebook page. “I love being able to reach people directly, but in an ideal scenario, I would not have to rush the release of new music.”