By Ellise Shafer, Variety Entertainment News Service (TNS)
Shakira has reached a deal with Spanish authorities to settle her tax fraud case, on the day the trial was set to begin.
The Colombian pop star was due to appear in court on Monday to face tax evasion charges. Spanish authorities had claimed Shakira owed over €14.5 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014, alleging that she had listed the Bahamas as her primary residence for those years but had in fact spent the majority of her time in Spain. Shakira repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and opted to take the case to trial instead of accepting a settlement offer from the authorities in July 2022. According to the Associated Press, Shakira’s deal includes a suspended three-year sentence and a €7 million fine.
In a statement to Variety, the singer said: “Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others. That often means taking the extra step in business and personal financial decisions to procure the absolute best counsel, including seeking the advice of the world’s preeminent tax authorities such as PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, who advised me from the start, and subsequently Ernst & Young Global Limited. Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people’s energy, time, and tranquility for years at a time.”
Shakira continued, “While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favor, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight. 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, both of which I am extremely excited about. 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 shares two sons with Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué. The couple split in June 2022. Had she been found guilty, Shakira could have faced over eight years in prison, plus €24.5 million in fines.
The singer was in Spain last week for the Latin Grammys, where she performed and took home three awards, including song of the year for “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53.”
© 2023 Variety Media LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC.