Cash-Strapped Oscar Winner Marlee Maitlin Owes $50K In Back Taxes

Cash-Strapped

Celebrity Apprentice contestant Marlee Matlin owes the Internal Revenue Service $50,000 in unpaid federal income taxes from 2009, the 45-year-old actress confessed to PEOPLE Magazine Thursday. The hearing impaired star shot to international fame after winning the Best Actress Oscar for the 1986 film Children of a Lesser God. Marlee admits, however, that she and her family have been hit hard by the downturn in the economy.

“I’m paying it back. I’m not shying away from it and I’m certainly not ashamed of it. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. It’s reality. It’s the reality that a lot of people in America are facing,” says Maitlin, who balks at claims that she blew her acting earnings on extravagant spending. “Living modestly in a suburban neighborhood while trying to support four children through private school is not extravagant or living large. My husband is a Los Angeles area police officer and between the two of us we have always made ends meet in the past – and we will in this circumstance as well.”

In a bid to cut down on costs, Matlin says she and her husband are putting the family’s California home up for sale and researching cheaper communities with good access to public education for their kids.

“Transitioning out of a private school environment will certainly relieve some of the financial pressures but hopefully this will not compromise the kids…I’m not broke. Like everybody else, I owe money. My family is healthy and happy.”