Singer Lauryn Hill stepped away from her music career and "withdrew from society at large" after receiving "very real threats to herself and her family," according to court documents.

The former Fugees star is currently awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to charges of failing to file her tax returns between 2005 and 2007, and she has lodged legal papers in a New Jersey court asking for leniency due to extenuating circumstances.

In the documents, Hill reveals she stopped paying her taxes and became a recluse after allegedly receiving threats to herself and her family.

The papers, obtained by, state "she (Hill) withdrew from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family."

Hill is accused of owing more than $1.6 million (£1 million) and faces three years in prison when a judge announces her sentence on 22 April (13), but she has asked for probation instead of jail time so can work towards paying off her debts more quickly.