Lauryn Hill could face jail time after pleading guilty to tax evasion.
Hill (37) admitted to "intentionally and willingly" failing to pay taxes for three years during her appearance in the Newark federal court in New Jersey on Friday (29 June).
The Fugees singer was charged with tax evasion for 2005, 2006 and 2007 – despite earning R13.3-million during that period of time. As a result, Hill could face up to three years in prison – one year for each count – or over R600 000 in fines.
In a rambling tumblr post published shortly after she was charged, Hill wrote: "My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes.
"This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family."
The singer reportedly barely spoke at her hearing, and was shocked when the judge ordered her to undergo mental health counselling, as directed by pre-trial intervention services.
During the hearing, Hill's attorney Nathan Hochman confirmed that Hill had planned to pay back the taxes owed.
According to the Daily Mail, US Magistrate Michael Shipp initially scheduled sentencing for early October – but agreed to delay it until late November to give the singer time to make repayment. She was released on R1.2-million bail.
This isn't the first time Hill has been plagued with legal woes.
During her 2007 European tour, a fashion consultant from Via Davia Vintage claimed the Doo Wop (That Thing) singer stole a high number of items from a "wardrobe of high fashion items" after they provided clothes for her tour.
During that same tour, guitarist in her band, Jay Gore sued her for harassment and unpaid wages and also said she would belittle the band consistently.
In the lawsuit that Gore filed, it said: "After shows, Hill would demand that the musicians and road support personnel attend meetings where she would engage in a person-by-person critique and berating."