The Colombian singer sealed an agreement with the Spanish prosecutor’s office ending her trial for tax fraud, which had just opened in Barcelona, in exchange for recognition of her guilt and a fine of 7.3 million euros. .
The trial of global star Shakira, for tax fraud of nearly 14.5 million euros, opened Monday in Barcelona. The prosecution demanded a prison sentence of more than eight years against him. The 46-year-old Colombian artist was summoned at 9 a.m. by a court in the Catalan metropolis, where she resided for years with ex-footballer Gerard Piqué before their highly publicized separation last year.
Singer Shakira quickly sealed an agreement with Spanish prosecutors on Monday ending her trial for tax fraud, in exchange for recognition of her guilt and a fine of 7.3 million euros.
She left the court as soon as the sentence was pronounced, without making any statements to the press. In a press release sent by her lawyers, the singer however continues to proclaim her «innocence” and claims to have chosen to admit guilt to protect his career as well as his children, by avoiding “years» of legal procedure.
«I had two options: continue to fight to the end, jeopardizing my peace of mind and that of my children, stop making songs, albums and tours” or “close and leave this chapter of my life“, she assures. “I have to choose my battles and the most important one for me right now is to do everything I can to ensure my children live a full life and focus on what’s really important: seeing them grow and have fun», adds the singer.
Where did Shakira live?
The prosecution had accused Shakira of not having paid her taxes in Spain in 2012, 2013 and 2014 when, according to him, she had lived in those years more than 183 days a year in the country, the threshold beyond which a person must be considered as a tax resident there. Until then, the singer had categorically denied these accusations and her lawyers assured that, even if she had started a relationship with Piqué in 2011, she had continued to move around the world because of her career.
Shakira claimed to have only established herself permanently in Barcelona at the end of 2014, before transferring her tax residence from the Bahamas to Spain in 2015, just before the birth of her second child.
“The tax authorities saw that I was in a relationship with a Spanish citizen and started salivating”she said last year in an interview with the magazine ELLE. “I owe nothing” to the taxman “and I am certain that I have enough evidence to support my case and ensure that justice rules in my favor”said the singer, who has already paid 17.2 million euros to the tax authorities in this matter in order to regularize her situation.
This summer, the prosecution began another procedure against the singer, who moved to Miami with her children after her separation, for another tax fraud in 2018, estimated at six million euros.
This trial was scheduled to last until mid-December with nearly 120 witnesses. In order to support the accusation, tax investigators dissected the private life of the star, questioning her neighbors, checking her accounts on social networks, controlling her expenses in hair salons in Barcelona or in the clinic where she was followed in the city for her pregnancy in 2012/2013.
Of the “unacceptable methods”for the lawyers of Shakira, who saw her name appear in the “Pandora Papers”, a vast journalistic investigation published at the end of 2021 and accusing several hundred personalities of having concealed assets in offshore companies.
A reference in Latin pop music, Shakira has recently been in the spotlight for her difficult separation from Piqué, which she recounts in the hit “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53”. This collaboration with the Argentinian Bizarrap became a global success which won the Latino Grammy for song of the year on Thursday and whose lyrics also refer to his “debt with the tax authorities”. “People on my team tried to convince me to change the lyrics, but I’m not a UN diplomat”she declared this week in the Spanish magazine ¡Hola!.
In addition to Shakira, many personalities have had problems with the Spanish tax authorities in recent years, such as footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, who were sentenced to prison sentences of less than two years which they did not have to serve because their criminal record was clean.
Pique was convicted in 2016 for tax fraud on his image rights and ordered to repay more than 2.1 million euros to the tax authorities.