The pop star Shakira has paid a €7.5 million (£6.5 million) fine after prosecutors sought an eight-year prison sentence and a €23.8 million (£20.8 million) fine for finding her guilty of tax fraud.
She was facing charges of €14.5 million (£12.7 million) tax fraud in a Barcelona court.
Shakira, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, stated that she reached the settlement “keeping in mind the best interest of her children.”
In a lengthy statement, she mentioned that her children “do not want to see their mother dragged into a fight over her personal well-being.”
Choosing to face trial in the initial proceedings, the artist had rejected a deal proposed by prosecutors.
“Throughout my entire career, I have always tried to do what is right and set a positive example for others.”
“Unfortunately, despite these efforts, officials in Spain pursued a case against me, as they have done against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, causing the energy, time, and peace of mind of those people to be drained for many years.”
“While I was determined to defend my innocence in this case, and my lawyers were confident they would present a favorable decision on my behalf, I have ultimately decided to resolve this matter, keeping in mind the best interests of my children who do not want to see their mother dragged into a fight over her personal well-being.”
She mentioned that she needs to move forward from the stress and emotional burden of the past several years and focus on things she loves—her children and all the opportunities that come in her career.
Residence Controversy The dispute centers around Shakira’s residency status between 2012 and 2014 when prosecutors alleged that she was residing in Spain but listing her official residence elsewhere.
Under Spanish law, individuals spending more than six months in the country are considered residents for tax purposes. However, Shakira argues that during that time, Spain was not the primary place where she predominantly resided.
In July, prosecutors issued a document claiming she purchased a house in Barcelona in 2012, which became a family home for her and her then-partner, Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué. Her lawyers argue that most of her income until 2014 came from international tours, and she spent extended periods outside Spain.
She told El País, “Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen, and they started to leak little stories to the press. It is clear that they wanted to go after that money, whatever it took.”
Shakira declared Spain as her tax residence in 2015, stating that she paid €17.2 million (£15 million) in taxes and had no outstanding debts.
In a separate case in 2019, a Spanish national court fined Mr. Piqué €2.1 million (£1.8 million) for tax evasion between 2008 and 2010.
The couple announced their separation in June after 11 years together. They have two sons, aged seven and nine.