Wesley Snipes Says He 'Came Out a Clearer Person' After Serving Prison Time for Tax Evasion

"The biggest thing I got from it was learning the value of time and how we often squander it," the actor said

Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes in January 2020. Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Wesley Snipes is reflecting on serving prison time for tax evasion and becoming a "better person."

The 58-year-old actor was sentenced to three years in prison back in 2008 and fined $5 million for willfully failing to file millions of dollars worth of past tax returns. In 2010, Snipes' appeal was denied, and he began his sentence at a federal prison that December. He was released in April 2013.

In a new interview with The Guardian, the Blade actor said, "I hope I came out a better person."

"I came out a clearer person," added Snipes. "Clearer on my values, clearer on my purpose, clearer about my relationship with my ancestors and the great god and the great goddess above, and clearer on what I was going to do once I had my freedom back."

"The biggest thing I got from it was learning the value of time and how we often squander it ... I understand that very clearly now, having been away from my family and loved ones two and a half years," said the father of five.

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Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes. Monica Schipper/Getty

Snipes said he doesn't view himself as an "innocent bystander in any of it."

"I made decisions. I accept the ramifications of those decisions. No one forced me to take that person as my accountant; no one forced me to take that person as my lawyer. No one forced me to believe what they were saying. That was on me," he said. "I don't have time to sit back and say I was wronged and recapture all that was lost."

"I've gained so much more. I understand so much more," added Snipes of evolving from the situation. "And if two and a half years of my life were in meditation and isolation up at that camp out of the 100 I plan on living, good deal. Good deal."

Since serving the time, Snipes has made a few movie and TV appearances, including in 2014's The Expendables 3 and Spike Lee's 2015 film Chi-Raq. He starred opposite Eddie Murphy in last year's Dolemite Is My Name, and he's back with Murphy in the sequel Coming 2 America.

Coming 2 America is set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 18.

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