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Hill receives jail time over unpaid taxes

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013

Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in prison Monday and three months of home confinement for failing to file her federal income tax returns for several years.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo sentenced Hill, 37, of South Orange, N.J., to one month behind bars for each of the three counts to which she pleaded guilty last year.

Hill admitted that she did not file tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007, a period in which she had $1.8 million in income, mostly from recording and film royalties, and owed $554,000 in taxes.

Her sentence, however, also took into account tax losses for 2008 and 2009, years for which she also failed to file federal returns, along with her outstanding tax liability to the state of New Jersey, for a total income of about $2.3 million and a total tax loss of $1 million, authorities said.

Hill, who faced up to three years in prison, told the judge she had no excuse for not filing her taxes but offered an explanation.

During those years, Hill said, she was compelled to drop out of society and go underground.

“I had to separate myself completely, take stock of my life, heal my life,” Hill said.

Hill, a mother of six, likened the demands on her to a form of slavery and said it was never a matter of whether she would pay her taxes but when she could pay them “without compromising the health and welfare of my family.”

‘Girls Gone Wild’ founder convicted

“Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis was found guilty Monday of misdemeanor counts of assault and false imprisonment stemming from a dispute with three women after a night out at a Hollywood club in 2011.

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said in a statement that after a two-week trial, a jury convicted the 40-year-old Francis of three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault causing great bodily injury and one count of dissuading a witness. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.

Ritter protests school’s policy on gays

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter says he won’t play a central Pennsylvania Christian college again unless it changes its policy against “homosexual behavior.”

Ritter made the announcement on Facebook hours after playing a Friday night concert at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., southwest of Harrisburg. Messiah students and staff have to sign a “community covenant” promising to avoid homosexual behavior and premarital sex.

He says he’s donating his fee to an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services.

The birthday bunch

Singer Jimmy Ruffin is 74. Actress Robin Strasser is 68. Rhythm-and-blues singer Thelma Houston is 67. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 61. Actor Michael E. Knight is 54.


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