International pop sensation Shakira has reached an agreement with prosecutors in Barcelona, effectively resolving her tax fraud case and sidestepping imprisonment. The case centered on allegations that Shakira had spent a significant portion of 2012 and 2014 in Spain, necessitating her payment of taxes in the country. Initially contesting the charges, Shakira’s appeal was dismissed by a court in May 2022.
The Colombian singer was accused of evading 14.5 million euros in taxes owed to the Spanish government during the aforementioned period. Prosecutors had initially sought an eight-year prison term alongside a staggering 24 million euro fine. However, on the first day of her trial, Shakira opted for an agreement that resulted in a three-year suspended sentence and a significantly reduced fine.
Shakira had previously declined a plea deal the previous year but has consistently maintained her innocence throughout the legal proceedings.
Despite her continuous denial of any wrongdoing, Shakira explained that her decision to settle was motivated by her children’s well-being. In a comprehensive statement, she highlighted that her children didn’t wish to witness their mother endure the toll of the legal battle.
Expressing her desire to move forward, Shakira emphasized the need to redirect her focus toward her children and her career, stating, “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’s residence in Spain had been tied to her former partner, Gerard Piqué, who was associated with FC Barcelona. Following the couple’s separation and a contentious custody dispute, Shakira and her two sons relocated to Miami in April.
Spain has notably pursued several high-profile cases against soccer icons such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for tax irregularities. While both former Barcelona and Real Madrid stars were found guilty, they, like Shakira, avoided imprisonment through suspended sentences.