Rapper-actress Lauryn Hill likens taxes to slavery

May 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM
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NEWARK, N.J., May 6 (UPI) -- Rapper-actress Lauryn Hill, sentenced to jail Monday in New Jersey for evading federal taxes, likened having to pay taxes to slavery.

A judge in Newark ordered up three months of jail time, three more months of home detention and nine months of supervised release for Hill, a 37-year-old native of South Orange, N.J., who gained fame for her role in "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" and as front woman of the hip-hop group Fugees.

Hill delivered her perspective on her situation in a statement to the judge, entertainment news website TMZ reported.

"I was put into a system I didn't know the nature of. ... I'm a child of former slaves," Hill said. "I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me.

"I sold 50 million units ... now I'm up here paying a tax debt. If that's not likened to slavery, I don't know what is."

TMZ said before her sentencing hearing Hill's attorney told reporters Hill had come up with nearly $1 million to her tax debt. The defense attorney also sought leniency because Hill has six children and does charity work, TMZ said.

Hill pleaded guilty last year to three counts of tax evasion for failing to file returns on $1.8 million she earned from 2005 to 2007.

Hill is to report to prison by July 8. TMZ said it wasn't clear where Hill will be incarcerated.

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