Beyoncé Defends Lauryn Hill at 2012 BET Awards
On Friday (June 29), news broke about Lauryn Hill having admitted in a court of law to intentionally failing to file tax returns in the past decade, which can lead to three years in prison and $75,000 in fines.
As serious of an issue as tax evasion is, comedian Mike Epps and the group Mindless Behavior made Hill the butt of their joke, while presenting the award for Best R&B Artist at the 2012 BET Awards.
When Epps began to jokingly sing during the presentation, one of the members of the all-boy group said, “You sing bad…like Lauryn Hill’s tax accountant bad.”
The slight drew gasps from the crowd, including Beyoncé.
TMZ claims that after Beyoncé won the award, she quickly modified her planned acceptance speech on the spot to pay respect to Hill and defend the former Fugees member’s name.
“I want to thank all the talented R&B women that came before me like Lauryn Hill and Mary J. Blige,” B said.
But B wasn’t done just yet.
The former Destiny’s Child member and wife to Jay-Z told a BET handler that Epps and Mindless Behavior diss to Lauryn Hill was “disrespectful” and “not cool.”
TMZ says that although the BET employee complimented her for adding Lauryn’s name to her acceptance speech on the fly, B reportedly responded by saying: “I just felt [the diss] was wrong.”
Hill pled guilty Friday to three counts of tax evasion, stemming from the years of 2005, 2006 and 2007, during which time she earned more than $1.8 million.—Jakinder Singh