Shakira Speaks After Agreeing To Pay Millions In Tax Fraud Case
Shakira has agreed to pay millions to bring an end to her tax fraud case in Spain. The international star will avoid prison time despite Spanish prosecutors seeking eight years earlier in the case. Following Monday’s court proceedings in Barcelona, Shakira released a statement on her plea.
Shakira, 46, says she wanted to prove her innocence but didn’t want to put her life on hold with the court proceedings. She’s maintained her innocence for about five years before this week’s guilty plea.
“While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favor, 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,” Shakira said, per PEOPLE.
In July 2022, news broke that Spanish authorities had been pursuing a tax fraud case against Shakira. After reportedly investigating her finances for five years, Spanish prosecutors alleged she hadn’t paid taxes between 2011-2014.
She argued that she wasn’t residing in the country then and had paid $17.2 million euros in 2018. Still, prosecutors sought to collect over $26 million from Shakira and about eight years in prison.
Shakira Was Ready To Put The Case Behind Her
However, when the trial began on Monday, Shakira told the judge she had reached an agreement with prosecutors, per AP. She agreed to six counts of failing to pay the government 14.5 million euros (almost $16 million) between 2012 and 2014. Instead of serving prison time, she will get a suspended three-year sentence. Shakira has to hand over about $8 million in one fine, the unpaid taxes with interest, and $472,000 for the waived prison sentence.
Shakira, though, is looking to put this case behind her. In her statement, she highlighted her time with her children. At the same time, the singer is also preparing to replace that chunk of change the Spanish government is taking. She’s going on a world tour in 2024.
“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, including my upcoming world tour and my new album, both of which I am extremely excited about,” she added. “I admire tremendously those who have fought these injustices to the end, but for me, today, winning is getting my time back for my kids and my career.”
Still, AP reports that the guilty plea is a permanent mark on her legal record, and Spanish prosecutors aren’t done with her yet. In a separate case, they’re accusing her of using an offshore company to avoid paying the taxes.