Global star Shakira has avoided trial for tax fraud in Spain in exchange for paying a fine of more than 7 million euros in a last-minute deal with prosecutors.
Тhe 46-year-old Colombian singer answered "yes" to the president of the court, who asked her at the start of the hearing if she pleaded guilty and accepted the penalties imposed.
The performer left the court shortly afterwards without making any statements to the press and was fined more than 7.3 million euros, which corresponds to "50%" of the amount of the fraud, according to the terms of the agreement.
She was also given a three-year suspended sentence, commuted to a financial penalty of 432,000 euros, the court said in a statement in X. The total amount Shakira will therefore have to pay is almost €7.8 million.
The singer, who has already paid 17.2 million euros to the tax authorities in this case to settle her situation, has thus been spared a lengthy trial and a display of her past life in the Catalan metropolis, where she lived for years with former footballer Gerard Pique before their noisy split last year.
"I had two options: continue to fight until the end, putting my peace of mind and that of my children on the line, stop making songs, albums and touring," or "close up and put this chapter of my life behind me," Shakira, who moved to Miami with her children after the breakup, said in a statement.
The prosecutor accused Shakira of failing to pay her taxes in Spain in 2012, 2013 and 2014, although he said she lived in the country for more than 183 days a year during those years - the threshold above which a person should be considered a tax resident.
He has asked for a sentence of eight years and two months in prison and a fine of €23.8 million.
For her part, the singer has vehemently denied the accusations, insisting that although she began a relationship with Piquе in 2011, she has not stopped travelling the world for her career during those years.
She claimed that she only settled permanently in Barcelona in late 2014 and moved her tax residency from the Bahamas to Spain in 2015, just before the birth of her second child.
This summer, prosecutors opened another case against her for alleged tax fraud in 2018, estimated at six million euros.
This trial, in which nearly 120 witnesses had to be heard, could have turned into a spectacular unraveling of the singer's life.
Apart from Shakira, many other celebrities have been in trouble with the Spanish tax authorities, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, who were also fined millions of dollars and sentenced to prison terms they did not have to serve.
In 2016, Pique was ordered to pay back more than €2.1 million to the tax authorities. /BGNES