International pop star Shakira has agreed to a deal with prosecutors in Barcelona in her tax fraud case, avoiding time in prison. Prosecutors in Barcelona say Shakira spent more than half of both 2012 and 2014 in Spain and, therefore, is required to pay taxes in the country. The star previously appealed the charges, but a court struck down her request in May 2022.
The Colombian singer failed to pay the Spanish government 14.5 million euros in taxes between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors sought an eight-year prison sentence in addition to a 24 million euro fine, but on Monday, the first day of her trial, she agreed to the deal that left her with a three-year suspended sentence and a much smaller fine.
She had previously rejected a plea deal last year but continues to maintain her innocence.
Shakira, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, said she settled “with the best interest of my kids at heart”. In a lengthy statement, she said her children “do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight”.
She added she needed 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”.
Shakira lived in Spain for several years, as her ex-partner Gerard Piqué was a member of FC Barcelona. When the couple split, they entered into a brutal custody battle. Shakira and her two sons ultimately moved to Miami in April.
Spain has also cracked down on soccer stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their full taxes. The former Barcelona and Real Madrid stars were found guilty of evasion but both avoided prison time after their sentences were suspended.