Planetary star Shakira avoided Monday a trial for tax fraud in Spain, in exchange for the payment of a fine of more than seven million euros as part of a last minute agreement sealed by the with the parquet.
Arriving at the Barcelona court around 09:00 GMT, dressed in a pink outfit and wearing sunglasses, the 46-year-old Colombian artist answered “yes” to the president of the court who asked her, at the start of the hearing, if she recognized her guilt and accepted the sentences imposed.
Leaving shortly after without making any statements to the press, the interpreter of “Waka Waka” or “Hips don't lie” received a fine of more than 7.3 million euros corresponding to “50%” of the amount of the fraud, according to the terms of the agreement.
She was also given a three-year suspended prison sentence, commuted to a financial penalty of 432,000 euros, the court said in a message on X (formerly Twitter). The total amount that Shakira will have to pay will therefore amount to nearly 7.8 million.
The singer, who has also already paid 17.2 million euros to the tax authorities in this affair to regularize her situation, thus spares herself a long trial and the display of her life spent in the Catalan metropolis, where she resided for years with ex-footballer Gerard Piqué before their highly publicized separation last year.
“I had two options: continue to fight to the end, jeopardizing my peace of mind and that of my children, stop making songs, albums and tours” or “close and leave this chapter behind me of my life”, assured, in a press release, Shakira, who moved to Miami with her children after her separation.
– Where did Shakira live? –
The prosecution accused Shakira of not having paid her taxes in Spain in 2012, 2013 and 2014 when, according to him, she had lived in those years more than 183 days per year in the country, the threshold beyond which a person must be considered a tax resident there.
Colombian singer Shakira and her lawyer Pau Molins (l) arrive at the court in Barcelona, November 20, 2023 © AFP – Pau BARRENA < p>He had requested a sentence of eight years and two months in prison and a fine of 23.8 million euros against him.
The singer for her part categorically denied these accusations, ensuring that, even if she had started a relationship with Piqué in 2011, she had continued to move around the world in those years, because of her career.
She claimed to have only established herself permanently in Barcelona at the end of 2014, before transferring her tax residence from the Bahamas to Spain in 2015, just before the birth of her second child.
“The tax authorities saw that I was in a relationship with a Spanish citizen and started salivating,” she said last year in an interview with ELLE magazine, in which she then assured that going to trial was a “matter of principle” to defend his innocence.
Shakira, who saw her name appear in the “Pandora Papers”, a vast journalistic investigation accusing several hundred personalities of having concealed assets in offshore companies, has not, however, finished with Spanish justice.
This summer, the prosecution began another procedure against her for alleged tax fraud in 2018, estimated at six million euros.
– Payments in hair salons –
This trial, in which nearly 120 witnesses were to be heard, could have turned into a major unpacking of the singer's life.
In order to support the accusation, the investigators had dissected her private life, questioning her neighbors, checking her accounts on social networks, controlling her expenses in hair salons in Barcelona or in the clinic where she was followed in the city for her pregnancy in 2012/2013.
A reference in Latin pop music, Shakira was recently in the spotlight for her difficult separation from Piqué, which she recounts in “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53 “.
This global hit, which earned him the Latin Grammy for song of the year on Thursday, also refers to his “debt with the tax authorities”.
In addition to Shakira, many personalities have had problems with the Spanish tax authorities such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, who were also sentenced to fines of several millions and prison sentences which they did not receive. didn't have to purge.
Piqué was ordered in 2016 to repay more than 2.1 million euros to the tax authorities.
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