Lauryn Hill was sentenced on Monday in a New Jersey federal court to three months in prison for failure to pay taxes on $1.8 million earned from 2005 to 2007. She was also sentenced to one year probation, three months of home confinement and ordered to pay a $60,000 fine by Judge Madeline Cox Arleo.
In a statement to the judge Hill blamed her predicament on slavery and the U.S. economic system.
"I am a child of former slaves who had a system imposed on them,' Hill said. "I had an economic system imposed on me."
The former Fugess singer/rapper said she intended to pay her taxes, but couldn't during the time she left the music business. She cited unfair treatment as the reason she no longer felt comfortable in the industry.
"I was told, 'That's how it goes, it comes with the territory.' I came to be perceived as a cash cow and not a person. When people capitalize on a persona, they forget there is a person in there," Hill explained.
On Tuesday conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh responded to Hill's slavery comments.
"Ladies and gentlemen, there's a singer out there, a Grammy award-winning singer by the name of Lauryn Hill, and she has been given three months in prison for failing to pay about a million dollars in taxes over the last 10 years. She blames slavery for it," Rush said on his show. "Wesley Snipes shoulda tried it. He got a year. She only got three months. So the slavery excuse... (interruption) Oh, she paid the money. I know she paid the money. That's the thing, three months, almost a million dollars, but she sat there, she blamed slavery. She attempted to get out of paying it saying (paraphrasing), "The reason I didn't pay it is because I shouldn't have to. I'm the daughter of slaves. I had a system imposed on me. The system's not mine, it's yours. I shouldn't have to pay any of this."
"But that's not the point. She's a multimillionaire. She's a Grammy award-winning singer in the United States of America, and she's trying to portray herself as some sort of prisoner. Who's putting that kind of stuff in her mind? The Democrat Party. All the people she hangs around with in the music business, all the leftists and the liberals, all this constant talk about what a racist country this is. This is what happens. That stuff doesn't just happen in a vacuum. You have these impressionable young people that don't know beans anyway because their education was worthless. So here she is a multimillionaire, loved and adored by millions of people, her music is purchased by tens of thousands of people, and she thinks she's a slave, or either using the excuse will somehow get her out of having to pay what she owes. It's just another sign of the cultural rot and decay."
Who has a more valid point? Lauryn or Rush?