BARCELONA: Colombian superstar Shakira has reached a settlement with Spanish prosecutors to resolve her tax fraud case, avoiding a trial. The agreement, announced on the scheduled trial date, entails a three-year suspended sentence for the 46-year-old singer and a payment of €7.3 million ($7.98 million) in fines.
The settlement comes after prosecutors accused Shakira of defrauding the Spanish state of €14.5 million ($15.7 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014. The charges were denied by the singer, who asserted that she only moved to Spain full-time in 2015. The case revolved around the amount of time Shakira spent in Spain during the mentioned years.
Wearing a pink suit and sunglasses, Shakira did not address reporters as she entered and exited the Barcelona courthouse. However, in a statement released by her lawyers, she expressed the decision to settle for the well-being of her two sons, Milan and Sasha.
“I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love – my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career, including my upcoming world tour and my new album,” Shakira said in the statement. “I admire tremendously those who have fought these injustices to the end, but for me, today, winning is getting my time back for my kids and my career.”
Shakira’s Residency Status and Tax Obligations in Spain
The case focused on Shakira’s residency status and tax obligations in Spain between 2012 and 2014. Spanish authorities argued that she spent more than half of that period in Spain, requiring her to pay taxes in the country. Shakira’s lawyers countered, stating that she led a “nomadic life” until 2014, earning most of her income from international tours. They asserted that she permanently moved to Barcelona in early 2015.
The trial, which was expected to run until December 14, involved nearly 120 witnesses and extensive scrutiny of Shakira’s activities during the specified years. Spanish prosecutors, in their case, interviewed neighbors, monitored social networks, and checked various aspects of the singer’s life to support their accusations.
This settlement adds to Spain’s recent efforts to address tax evasion among celebrities, following cases involving football stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Shakira’s former partner, Gerard Pique, was previously convicted of tax fraud in 2016.
Despite the legal challenges, Shakira recently received three awards at the Latin Grammy Awards, showcasing her continued success in the music industry.