Shakira Reaches Deal in Tax Fraud Trial

Shakira reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors on the first day of her tax fraud trial in Barcelona, The Associated Press reports. The deal means the Colombian pop star will avoid prison time—prosecutors were seeking a sentence of eight years and two months, plus a fine—but will receive a three-year suspended sentence and a fine of 7.3 million euros ($8 million), plus an extra 432,000 euros ($472,000) in exchange for her suspended sentence.

Prosectors alleged that Shakira failed to pay the Spanish government more than 14.5 million euros (about $15.8 million) in taxes owed between 2012 and 2014. Shakira’s official residence is in the Bahamas, where taxes are much lower; she was named in the “Paradise Papers,” leaked in 2017, which revealed the offshore tax arrangements of numerous public figures. Had prosecutors proven that Shakira spent more than half of a given year in Spain, she would have had to have paid taxes on her worldwide income there, despite being registered in the Bahamas.

In November 2022, Shakira’s defense team claimed she had not spent more than 60 days a year in Spain during the period in question. Her public relations firm had said she had not only paid the Spanish government what she initially owed, but also an additional 3 million euros (about $3.2 million) in interest.

Shakira said in a statement through her PR firm, via The Associated Press, “I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight. I need 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.”

In a separate investigation, which is ongoing, Spanish state prosecutors have charged Shakira with evading 6.7 million euros (about $7.3 million) in tax on her 2018 income, via an offshore company in a tax haven.