By James Montgomery
Earlier this week, Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges. As you’d probably expect, Hill had plenty to say at her sentencing hearing, telling judge Madeline Cox Arleo that she had earned nearly $600 million — for other people — over the course of her career, yet was forced to live “a life of sacrifice” and went on to compare her situation to slavery. And perhaps her words worked: after all, she was facing as much as three years behind bars.
Then again, according to her lawyer, Hill has already repaid more than $900,000 of the reported $1.8 million she owes in taxes, which might explain the judge’s leniency. Or, it might have had something to do with the scores of Hill’s fans who wrote the judge letters on her behalf, from as far away as China, France and the United Kingdom. And late Tuesday night, Hill took to her Facebook page to thank them all by name.
“I want to extend a sincere thank you to the following people, who wrote letters to the judge on my behalf,” Hill wrote, before publishing a list of nearly 30 names that included Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder. “I also want to thank all of my family, friends, business associates, and fans who have called, emailed, sent texts, and posted messages of concern, encouragement, and support. I appreciate the well wishes, and I thank you for your prayers.”
Hill — who must report to prison by July 8 — closed by adding that she’ll have more to say in the coming days, saying she “did not want to further delay expressing my appreciation.”