- Written by Helen Bushby
- Entertainment reporter
Colombian pop star Shakira has reached an agreement with Spanish prosecutors to settle a tax fraud case, just as her trial was about to begin.
The Hips Don’t Lie singer was due to face tax fraud charges amounting to €14.5m (£12.9m) in a Barcelona court.
The Spanish prosecution wanted to imprison her for eight years and fine the singer 23.8 million euros if she was proven guilty.
Shakira, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, settled “with my children’s best interests at heart.”
She added that they “don’t want to see their mother sacrifice her personal safety in this fight.”
The artist had previously rejected a deal offered by the Public Prosecution, choosing instead to stand trial.
Her full statement was:
“Throughout my career, I have always strived to do the right thing and set a positive example for others. This often means going the extra mile in business and personal financial decisions to obtain the very best advice, including seeking advice from the world’s leading tax authorities. Authorities PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited and Ernst & Young Global Limited who were my advisors during this whole process.
“Unfortunately, despite these efforts, Spain’s tax authorities have pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, sapping these people’s energy, time and calm for years at a time.
“While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that the attorneys were confident would rule in my favor, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter in the best interest of my children who do not want to see their children.” My mother is sacrificing her personal well-being in this fight.
“I need to move past the stress and emotional loss of the past several years and focus on the things I love – my children and all the opportunities I will have in my career, including my upcoming world tour and new album, both of which I am looking forward to. I am so excited.”
“I deeply admire those who fought this injustice to the end, but for me, today, winning is getting my time back for my children and my career.”
At the heart of this dispute is Shakira’s residency status between 2012 and 2014, when prosecutors claimed she was living in Spain but listed her official residence elsewhere.
Under Spanish law, people who spend more than six months in the country are considered residents for tax purposes. But Shakira says Spain wasn’t where she was mainly living at the time.
In July, prosecutors released a document claiming she had bought a house in Barcelona in 2012, which became a family home for her and her then-partner, Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.
Her lawyers said that until 2014, most of her income came from international tours, and she spent long periods of time outside Spain.
“The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen, and they started salivating. They obviously wanted to go after that money no matter what,” she told Elle magazine.
Shakira declared Spain as her place of residence for tax purposes in 2015. She said she had paid taxes worth 17.2 million euros and had no outstanding debts.
In a separate case in 2019, Pique was fined €2.1 million by Spain’s National Court for tax evasion between 2008 and 2010.
The couple announced in early June that they were separating after 11 years. They have two sons together, ages seven and nine.
. “Professional creator. Lifelong thinker. Reader. Beer buff. Troublemaker. Evil problem solver.”