Grammy Award-winner Lauryn Hill, who has pleaded guilty to tax evasion and faces prison time, says threats to her family were behind her reluctance to pay taxes in the mid-2000s.
In court documents cited by TMZ.com, Hill, 37, asked for leniency at her upcoming sentencing, saying she "withdrew from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family." The documents did not specify the threatening behavior.
Hill, who will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Newark on Monday has asked for probation, arguing this would make it easier for her to pay her tax bill. She faces a year in prison for each of the three years, 2005 to 2007, that she did not file returns.
She pleaded guilty in June, admitting she did not pay taxes on money earned by her four corporations: $818,000 in 2005, $222,000 in 2006 and $761,000 in 2007. Additionally, TMZ said, a New Jersey court entered a civil judgment against her the same month, saying she owed $446,386 in state taxes.
Hill first became known as part of the Fugees hip hop trio, then released her influential solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1998.
Yet Hill, now the mother of six, retreated from the spotlight in the early 2000s amid reports of erratic behavior.