On the first day of her tax fraud trial in Barcelona, international pop star Shakira reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors.
This agreement allows her to avoid the potential risk of a prison sentence. The deal was made after Shakira confirmed her acknowledgment of six counts of failing to pay approximately $15.8 million in taxes to the Spanish government between 2012 and 2014.
By answering “yes” to these charges, she has taken responsibility for her actions. Now, Miss Shakira isn’t getting away that fast as this deal does not absolve Shakira from any financial penalties or repercussions related to her unpaid taxes. Per her agreement, Shakira is to receive a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of 7 million euros ($7.6 million).
Shakira said in a statement provided by her public relations team that she had wanted to fight the case but decided to put her family, career, and peace of mind first. “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. “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.”
Prosecutors had initially sought an eight-year prison sentence and a fine of 24 million euros.
Shakira, whose legal name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, rejected a deal offered to her by prosecutors in July 2022. The singer continues to maintain her innocence in the matter but said she ultimately chose to settle with Spanish authorities to avoid putting additional stress on her family.
In exchange for having her sentence waived, however, Shakira will have to pay an additional 432,000 euros. Her legal record will also reflect that she was found guilty of tax fraud — which could affect separate tax evasion charges the singer is still facing.
According to Spanish law, anyone living in the country for more than six months is considered a resident and must pay taxes. Prosecutors alleged that between 2012 and 2014, Shakira was living in Spain despite listing her official residence in the Bahamas. Spanish officials pointed to a Barcelona home they said Shakira bought in 2012, in which the singer and her then-partner, Barcelona soccer star Gerard Piqué, lived.
While Shakira’s tax woes aren’t over just yet — in September, Spanish authorities charged her with alleged tax evasion on her 2018 income — the 46-year-old pop star has had a victorious 2023 otherwise. She was honored with a Video Vanguard honor at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards — becoming the first South American artist to win the lifetime achievement award.
Earlier this year, she released a record-breaking collab with Argentine DJ Bizarrap, a pointed diss track aimed at her ex Piqué. The couple, who were together 11 years, announced their separation in June 2022, amid rumors that the soccer player had cheated on Shakira with a woman more than 20 years her junior. Last week, the song won Shakira a Latin Grammy for song of the year. The award was handed to her by Piqué’s on-field rival, Sergio Ramos, in front of her and Piqué’s two sons, who were in the audience.
Shakira’s tax tango may have come to an unexpected end, but her career and charisma remain as captivating as ever.