Earlier in the week, I reported that entertainer Lauryn Hill was charged with failing to file tax returns for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007. I suggested that there was evidence in her background (specifically, statements made by her former Fugees band mate and friend, Wyclef Jean) that might point towards mental illness or other related health concerns which could explain her failure to file and pay taxes when all accounts indicate that she was financially solvent. I tend to think I was right.
Yesterday, Ms. Hill posted a lengthy response to the charges on her blog. She says, among other things, that she has remained “underground” in order to live without “being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda.”
If it sounds a little oddball, that’s not completely unexpected. Ms. Hill has always lived and performed just outside of the edge of what was considered acceptable and/or mainstream. She says about this:
When artists experience danger and crisis under the effects of this kind of insidious manipulation, everyone easily accepts that there was something either dysfunctional or defective with the artist, rather than look at, and fully examine, the system and its means and policies of exploiting/’doing business’. Not only is this unrealistic, it is very dark in its motivation, conveniently targeting the object of their hero worship by removing any evidence that they ‘needed’ or celebrated this very same resource just years, months or moments before. Since those who believe they need a hero/celebrity outnumber the actual heroes/celebrities, people feel safe and comfortably justified in numbers, committing egregious crimes in the name of the greater social ego. Ironically diminishing their own true hero-celebrity nature in the process.
So, in order to escape this dark place, she fled. She claims that she did not “deliberately abandon” her fans or her responsibilities but instead chose to retreat as a means of survival. While I appreciate her desire to protect her family and “create a non toxic, non exploitative environment” (who among us doesn’t want that for our families?), it’s not on the list of excuses accepted by the IRS for failure to file. Ms. Hill, however, doesn’t quite understand why this is, saying that the IRS, “despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me.” Umm, yeah?
It’s unclear as to what’s really going on with Ms. Hill. Is is a hiatus? A misunderstanding? A cry for help? Only Ms. Hill and those near her know for sure. What is certain is that she has promised to resolve the matter. Let’s hope, for the sake of her family and herself, that doesn’t include jail time.
*Article by Forbes*