Los Angeles - Reclusive Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill responded on Friday to charges of failing to file federal income tax returns, saying she had chosen to "defer" payments during a period of withdrawal from society to protect her family's safety.
Hill, 37, who has not released an album since 2001 and has made only sporadic public appearances in the past six years, issued a lengthy statement on her tumblr website one day after being charged with failing to file taxes for three years.
The US Department of Justice said Hill, best known for her Grammy-winning 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, filed no federal returns from 2005 to 2007 despite an income of more than $1.8m primarily from film and recording royalties.
"My intention has always been to get this situation rectified," the former member of the Fugees wrote on Friday.
Hill is scheduled to appear in court in New Jersey on the tax charges on 29 June.
In her statement, Hill said she had only stopped paying taxes "when it was necessary to withdraw from society in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family."
Hill, who has six children, gave few specifics in her rambling statement, in which she railed against manipulation by "a media protected military industrial complex", the commercialisation of the music industry and of having her freedom of speech compromised.
"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!" she said.
"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 said.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
Prince William has talked of 'dark moments' in his job as an air ambulance pilot. Read More »
Kensington Palace announced that Prince William and his wife Kate will bring their two young children on their official visit to Canada. Read More »
South AfricaCity Press
Cape TownCity Press
Apartments / FlatsR 29 500 000
TownhousesR 4 950 000
HousesR 1 599 000