Shakira Reaches Deal to Avoid $16 Million Tax Fraud Trial. Here’s What to Know
Shakira has reached a last-minute settlement with Spanish prosecutors over allegations of tax evasion, on the opening day of her trial in Barcelona.
The 46-year-old Colombian pop sensation, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, agreed Monday to pay a fine of €7.3 million ($8 million), despite saying she was “confident” the court would have found her not guilty.
The high-profile case alleged that Shakira failed to pay the Spanish government €14.5 million ($15.8 million) worth of taxes from 2012 to 2014. According to Spanish law, anyone who remains in Spain longer than six months a year is considered a resident for tax purposes. As such, the dispute focused on Shakira’s time in Spain during those years despite listing her official address as in the Bahamas.
The prosecution was set to call 117 witnesses to testify on Shakira’s residency, including beauticians, healthcare professionals, and her driver. If found guilty, the Hips Don’t Lie singer was set to face eight years and two months imprisonment and a fine of €23.8 million ($26 million).
Shakira has long maintained her innocence, which she reiterated in a statement published Monday, after her settlement. “Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others,” the statement said, adding that she has sought tax advice from consulting firms PWC and EY.