Shakira has reached a settlement with Spanish prosecutors after being accused of failing to pay more than €14.5 million (which converts to about $15.8 million) in taxes between 2012 to 2014.
According to a Monday, November 20, report from AP News, Shakira, 46, reached a deal with the Spanish government to avoid jail time. When asked to acknowledge her six counts of tax fraud, the singer responded with “yes.”
Shakira will receive a suspended three-year sentence and must pay a fine of €7 million ($7.6 million), per AP News.
“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,” Shakira said in a statement on Monday. “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. 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.”
Shakira added, “Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others,” calling out the Spanish tax authorities who, she claimed, “pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people’s energy, time, and tranquility for years at a time.”
In 2018, Spanish prosecutors accused Shakira of defrauding the government, alleging that she claimed to live in the Bahamas while she was actually residing in Catalonia — meaning she would owe the Spanish government money.
A rep for Shakira previously called the claims “a total violation of her rights” in a July 2022 statement to Reuters, noting that Shakira would be trusting “her innocence and [choosing] to leave the issue in the hands of the law.”
Shakira went on to address the lawsuit directly during an interview with Elle in September 2022, denying the allegations.
“I didn’t spend 183 days per year [in Spain] at that time at all,” she said at the time. “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.”
Her denial came shortly after Shakira and longtime boyfriend Gerard Piqué — with whom she shares sons Milan, 10, and Sasha, 8 — split in June 2022 after 12 years together. During the same Elle interview, she referred to her breakup and legal drama as some of the “most difficult, darkest hours” of her life.
“It’s been tough not only for me, but also for my kids,” she told Elle at the time. “Incredibly difficult.”
While Shakira has settled one tax evasion case with the Spanish government, she was recently charged with a second suit. Authorities in Barcelona alleged in September that she failed to pay €6.7 million ($7.1 million) in 2018, using offshore companies in tax havens to avoid paying. (The case was opened in July.)