Shakira Avoids Prison Time with Last-Minute Deal in Spanish Tax Fraud Case

Colombian pop star Shakira has narrowly avoided prison time after striking a last-minute deal with Spanish prosecutors in a long-running tax fraud case. The singer, who was accused of failing to pay over €14.5 million in income taxes between 2012 and 2014, will instead receive a suspended three-year sentence and pay a fine of €7.3 million.

The deal was reached just as Shakira's trial was set to begin in Barcelona on Monday. She had previously rejected a similar offer from prosecutors in July 2022, maintaining her innocence and insisting on taking the case to court.

However, in a statement released on Monday, Shakira explained that she had ultimately decided to settle with Spanish authorities in order to protect her children from the ordeal of a lengthy trial.

"While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favor, 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," she said.

Shakira's legal team had argued that she had spent a significant amount of time outside of Spain during the years in question, including extended periods in the United States for her work on NBC's "The Voice." However, Spanish prosecutors maintained that she had been living in the country for tax purposes, pointing to a Barcelona home she bought in 2012 with her then-partner, soccer star Gerard Piqué.

In addition to the suspended sentence and fine, Shakira will also have to pay an additional €432,000 in exchange for having her sentence waived. Her legal record will also reflect that she was found guilty of tax fraud, which could have implications for a separate tax evasion case she is still facing related to her 2018 income.

Despite this setback, Shakira has had a successful 2023, being honored with a Video Vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards and releasing a record-breaking collaboration with Argentine DJ Bizarrap.

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