Global pop icon Shakira has settled with Spanish authorities, averting a highly anticipated trial for tax evasion that was scheduled to commence on Monday. The deal puts an end to a legal saga that has loomed over the singer, with allegations of owing over 14.5 million euros ($15.7 million) in back taxes for the income earned between 2012 and 2014.
The suit, which accused Shakira of listing the Bahamas as her primary residence during the specified period while allegedly spending the majority of her time in Spain, had the potential to lead to a sentence of more than eight years in prison and fines totaling a staggering €24.5 million. With the settlement, Shakira is now required to pay a €7.3 million ($8 million) fine, accompanied by a suspended three-year sentence.
Shakira, a Grammy-winning artist known for hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” has consistently maintained her innocence since the lawsuit became public. In July 2022, prosecutors offered her a deal, which she rejected, insisting on proving her innocence in a court trial. However, the singer revealed in a statement to Variety magazine on Monday that she decided to settle in the best interest of her children.
In her statement, Shakira expressed confidence in her legal team and the advice she sought from renowned tax authorities, including Pricewaterhouse Coopers International Limited and Ernst & Young Global Limited. She lamented the persistence of the Spanish tax authorities in pursuing the case, likening it to the challenges faced by other high-profile individuals.
“While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favor, I have decided to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart,” Shakira stated.
The international superstar went on to explain the toll the case had taken on her well-being, citing the stress and emotional burden of the past several years. The decision to settle comes as Shakira is looking to move forward after a tumultuous period in her personal life, marked by a highly publicized breakup with long-time partner Gerard Piqué in June 2022.
Following the split, Shakira decided to relocate from Spain to Miami in April 2023, accompanied by her two sons, Milan and Sasha. The move was seen as a fresh start for the artist, allowing her to focus on her children and career amid the challenges posed by the legal battle.
While the terms of the settlement remain undisclosed, the resolution of Shakira’s tax case marks a significant moment in her career and personal life. The international community will be closely watching as the singer navigates this new chapter and seeks to rebuild after the taxing legal ordeal.