Legendary Lauryn Hill was sentened to three months in jail back in May for failing to pay taxes between '05-'07. The case was characterized as a rich celebrity skirting the laws, but that wasn't quite the deal. J.R. Gamble provided proper insight at the time:
Attorney Damien Bevelle was at Hill’s sentencing and says he is “intimately familiar with the details of the case.” Bevelle says he understands the complexities of the music game and how artists can get caught up in the whirlwind. He insists Hill, who admitted she didn’t pay taxes on about $818,000 earned in 2005, $222,000 in 2006 and $761,000 in 2007, was not motivated by greed.
“Ms. Hill spoke eloquently in court, taking responsibility for her negligence,” Bevelle continued, “but also offering an explanation that I felt was sincere and somewhat understandable (if you understand the ‘matrix’ that is the entertainment/music business). What I can say is Ms. Hill’s situation was not the result of extravagant living or excess spending. There are other issues at play that I cannot divulge.”
Bevelle also feels Hill is being misrepresented by media types who aren’t privy to the extenuating circumstances of her case.
“I am not defending Ms. Hill for not filing her tax returns. What I am defending or challenging, is a mischaracterization of her character with respect to this situation based on the facts as I know them to be. All this rhetoric about her being ‘delusional’ is simply not in accord with facts.
“Ms. Hill did not blame anyone else, she took responsibility for having not filed her returns and she is now suffering the consequences of that conscious decision.”
Actually, Hill blames the biz that created her wealth, and as she got older, the politics of the game turned her off.
“This has been a 10+ year battle, for a long time played out behind closed doors, but now in front of the public eye,” Hill told hypetrak.com. “This is an old conflict between art and commerce… free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure. This is about inequity, and the resulting disenfranchisement caused by it.”
Of course, it doesn't really matter how unfair the IRS may or may not be: Hill began her three month sentence today at a mininum security facility in Danbury, CT. There hasn't been any indication whether Hill will be eligible for any kind of early release, but we hope she makes it home as soon as possible.