Lauryn Hill is speaking out just a day after she was charged with failing to file three years' worth of income tax returns with the IRS. The charges against Lauryn cover 2005-2007, and in a lengthy note posted to tumblr on Friday, Lauryn explains that during that period, she stopped filing taxes only "when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family."
Lauryn writes in her post, "I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns!"
The Grammy Award-winner, who was lauded for her 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, lists the snares and traps of the entertainment industry, writing, "I’ve seen people promote addiction, use sabotage, black listing, media bullying and any other coercion technique they could, to prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power."
Hill explains that those forces are particularly devastating to the well-being of "creative types." She adds that she left the mainstream to wean herself from the privileges that she says came at the expense of her "free soul, free mind... health and integrity." While she was away, Lauryn says that certain people released "both slanted and inaccurate" information about her. "This was done in an effort to smear my public image, in order to directly affect my ability to earn independently of this system," she writes.
Alluding to the tax issue, Lauryn emphasizes that, "There were no exotic trips, no fleet of cars, just an all out war for safety, integrity, wholeness and health without mistreatment denial, and/or exploitation." She adds, "I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period. 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."
Lauryn counts the tax situation as just one issue that she'll resolve while she works to "get back to doing what I should be doing, the way it should be done."
The singer has been scheduled to appear in court on June 29 to address the tax charges.
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