Shakira Agrees to Deal in Tax Fraud Trial
She was given a suspended three-year sentence and fined $8 million USD
Published Nov 20, 2023Within the first eight minutes of her tax fraud trial in Barcelona, Shakira struck a plea deal to avoid potentially going to prison, the Associated Press reports.
The Colombian pop star has spent nearly five years embroiled in a legal battle with the Spanish government over multiple allegations of tax evasion. These particular charges pertained to where Shakira was living during a period of time between 2012 and 2014, when her official residence was registered as being in the Bahamas. The allegations paint her as having actually spent more than half of that time living in Barcelona with her ex-husband, Gerard Piqué.
Despite having strongly maintained her innocence, on the opening day of her trial, the singer answered "yes" to confirm her acknowledgement of the six counts of failing to pay $15.8 million USD in taxes. Instead of the eight-year prison sentence prosecutors said they were seeking in July, Shakira will receive a suspended three-year sentence and have to pay a fine of $8 million.
"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," she said in a statement. "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."
Shakira previously turned down a deal to settle the case in July 2022. At the time, she said (via her Spanish public relations firm Llorente y Cuenca) that she "believes in her innocence and chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law."
The pop star is still under investigation for her latest tax evasion lawsuit, with the Spanish government alleging that she used an offshore company to avoid taxes during the 2018 fiscal period.