Shakira reaches deal to avoid $24 million tax fraud trial in Spain
Barcelona: Colombian pop star Shakira on Monday reached a settlement to avoid a trial in Barcelona over charges she failed to pay 14.5 million euros ($24.2 million) in Spanish income tax between 2012 and 2014, arguing it was triggered by personal reasons.
As part of the deal, she accepted the charges and a fine of half the amount owed, more than 7.3 million euros.
She also accepted another fine of 438,000 euros to avoid a three-year prison sentence, the judge said during the trial’s first hearing.
“This decision to reach a deal responds to personal, emotional and sentimental reasons that have nothing to do with legal (reasons),” Shakira said in a statement released by her Spanish communication agency, adding she was ready to defend her innocence but decided to prioritise her career and kids.
“I have reached the conclusion that winning is not a victory if the price is that they rob you of so many years of your life,” she said.
“Do you recognise the facts and conform with the new penalties that have been requested?” asked Judge Jose Manuel del Amo Sanchez at the start of the trial.
“Yes,” Shakira responded softly, wearing a pink suit matching her pink handbag.
She arrived minutes before the start of the trial accompanied by her lawyers, amid a media frenzy and the support of some fans outside.
On Thursday night, Shakira won two Latin Grammy awards in Seville.