(NEW YORK) — Former Fugees singer Lauryn Hill says she didn’t cheat on her taxes; she went “underground.”
A day after federal prosecutors in New Jersey charged Hill, 37, with three counts of “knowingly and willfully fail(ing) to make an income tax return to the IRS,” according to court documents, Hill took to Tumblr to share her side of the story.
Hill said she withdrew to heal and grow away from the forces that had oppressed and manipulated her in the past. She didn’t name any names.
“It was critically important that I find a suitable pathway within which to exist, without being distorted or economically strong-armed,” she wrote. “Failure to create a non-toxic, non-exploitative environment was not an option.”
Hill won five Grammys when she launched her solo career with the album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in 1998, but she dropped out of sight in the early 2000s.
The singer pointed out that she paid her taxes before going underground.
“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,” she wrote.
Hill made more than $1.8 million from 2005 through 2007, the years she allegedly failed to pay taxes, according to federal court documents.
Hill said she conveyed the contents of her post when authorities questioned her about her taxes.
“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,” she wrote, adding that she always intended to rectify the situation.
She could face up to a year in prison or $100,000 fine for each of three counts, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. She is scheduled to appear before a judge on June 29.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lisa Respers France, CNN
Jeff Peterson, Deseret News
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News