Colombia Superstar Shakira avoided a trial that was scheduled to begin that day when she settled her tax evasion lawsuit with Spanish authorities on Monday.
The Barcelona prosecutor’s office released a statement on Monday afternoon stating that the Grammy-winning singer had acknowledged the charges against her and had consented to pay the full amount owed along with an additional fine.
According to the statement, she paid a total of €17.5 million ($19 million), which included a fine of €7.3 million ($8 million) and the taxes she owed plus interest.
Should Shakira be found guilty on all six tax fraud counts, the prosecution had requested a sentence of more than eight years in prison.
However, the settlement stipulated that she would pay extra fines of roughly $437 per day for a three-year sentence, or slightly over $470,000, in lieu of going to prison.
During the roughly ten minutes of Monday’s court session, the judge announced a last-minute settlement that all parties had submitted to avoid going to trial. When the judge asked Shakira if she knew about the agreement and the most recent fines that had been agreed upon, the singer replied, “Yes.”
Soon after, the singer’s representatives issued a statement announcing that her attorneys had come to a settlement to terminate a tax case spanning the years 2012–2014.
In a statement, Shakira said she “was ready to face trial and defend my innocence,” but she eventually realized that winning did not mean if so many years of life were taken from her.
“I had two options: keep fighting until the end, taking my peace of mind and that of my children, stop making songs, albums and tours, without being able to enjoy my career and the things I like; or agree, close and leave this chapter of my life behind, looking forward (to the future),” she added.
The Colombian singer was accused by Spanish prosecutors of evading paying wealth and personal income taxes between 2012 and 2014, totaling approximately $15.6 million.
Shakira was ordered to pay taxes in 2021 by Judge Marco Jesús Juberías because she spent more than 200 days living in Spain during each of those three years.
According to Spain’s tax code, a person is required to pay taxes if they live in the nation for at least 183 days, or six months and a day, in a given year.
In September 2022, the star refuted that, describing the charges as “false” in an interview with Elle magazine.
“First of all, I didn’t spend 183 days per year at that time at all. I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world. Second, I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them,” the artist told the magazine, adding she would have her day in court as “a matter of principle.”