Pop sensation Shakira reached a settlement with Spanish authorities, avoiding a trial that could have led to an eight-year prison sentence and a $26 million fine. The trial, set to include over 100 witnesses, was abruptly halted after just eight minutes as the Grammy-winning artist agreed to the deal.
Shakira faced six counts of failing to pay approximately $15.8 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014. Under the agreement, she will receive a suspended three-year sentence and pay a fine of $7.6 million.
The tax fraud case revolved around Shakira’s residency during the mentioned years. Prosecutors claimed she spent more than half of that period in Spain, making her liable for taxes on her global income, despite her official residence being in the Bahamas, where tax rates are significantly lower. Shakira, in her defense, argued she had not spent more than 60 days a year in Spain during the contested period.
The defense, led by lawyer Miriam Company, stated,“This has been a difficult decision that took time to reach, a tough decision that is motivated by her desire to focus on raising her children and her professional career.”
In 2021, investigating judge Marco Juberías found “sufficient evidence of criminality,” leading to the trial.
Shakira had previously rejected a deal in July 2022, stating she“believes in her innocence and chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law.”
Shakira faces another investigation for alleged tax evasion of €6.7 million ($7.3 million) on her 2018 income. Spain has previously pursued legal actions against multiple celebrities, including soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for tax-related issues.
This settlement allows Shakira to shift her focus back to her career and family, marking the end of a prolonged legal battle that has spanned several years. Shakira thanked her fans in Spain after winning awards at the Latin Grammy gala in Seville.