Lauryn Hill says she didn’t bother to pay taxes for three years and stayed out of the public eye for so long because of threats to herself and her family.

According to TMZ, the singer filed legal docs asking for mercy before her sentencing later this month, explaining why she failed to file tax returns for 2005, ’06 and ’07 when she earned more than $1.8 million. She has already pleaded guilty and faces several years in prison.

The former Fugees member said she stopped paying taxes “when she withdrew from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family.” No details about the threats were given.

Lauryn is seeking probation and wants the court to consider other factors before her sentencing, including her claim that she can pay off the debt much faster if she’s not behind bars.

Hill faces the judge on April 22.

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