(Kena Betancur, Getty Images)
There's good news and bad news for Lauryn Hill. The good -- she wasn't sentenced to prison on Monday for tax evasion. The bad -- she has to come up with more than $500,000 before May 3 to stay out of the clink.
Ms. Hill, who's had hits as a solo artist and a member of the Fugees, pleaded guilty last June for failure to file federal tax returns in 2005, 2006 and 2007 when she raked in a total of $1.8 million.
Hill's lawyers say that they've paid $50,000 toward her bill for owed taxes and penalties, but still have to come up with that other big chunk of change before the end of next week.
Although Hill hasn't released an album since 2001, she signed a new deal with Sony last year and is reportedly working on a new album. Her attorney Nathan Hochman said that Hill is getting final approval for a loan this week, which should allow her to pay off the tax bill.
After Hill's hearing on Monday, Hochman told reporters, "For Miss Hill, the only question was when she was going to pay those taxes, not if."
Hill's next court appearance is set for May 6 and from the sound of Judge Madeline Cox Arleo, she better come prepared to pay the piper. Said Arleo, "This is not someone who stands before the court penniless."
- Lauryn Hill