On Monday, November 20, singer Shakira reached a settlement with Spanish authorities on her tax evasion lawsuit, sparing herself a drawn-out trial and a potential three-year prison sentence.
The government and Shakira’s attorney submitted a last-minute deal to avoid trial, which the judge announced at the start of the court session. When the judge questioned Shakira about her knowledge of the agreement and the most recent fines, the singer said that she was.
Shortly later, the singer’s management issued a statement announcing that her lawyers had come to a settlement to settle a tax matter spanning the years 2012–2014.
Prosecutors had accused the superstar of defrauding the Spanish state of 14.5 million euros ($15.7 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014
Spanish authorities alleged Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll spent more than half of that period in Spain and, therefore, should have paid taxes in the country.
They say she moved to Spain after her relationship with former FC Barcelona star defender Gerard Pique became public in 2011. But that she maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.
Shakira’s lawyers argued that until 2014, she was leading a “nomadic life” and earned most of her money from international tours. And that she moved permanently to Barcelona just before the birth of her second son in January 2015.
Shakira said in a statement that she “was ready to face trial and defend my innocence,” but came “to the conclusion that it is not a triumph to win if the price is that (they) steal so many years of life.”
She said she had agreed to settle for the sake of her two sons, Milan and Sasha.
“I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love. They are my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career. There is also my upcoming world tour and my new album,” she said in the statement issued by her lawyers.
“I admire tremendously those who have fought these injustices to the end. But for me, today, winning is getting my time back for my kids and my career.”