Colombian pop sensation Shakira has reached an agreement with Spanish prosecutors to settle a tax fraud case, just as her trial was on the verge of commencing.
The internationally acclaimed singer opted to pay a €7.5 million (£6.5 million) fine, averting the possibility of an eight-year jail term and a €23.8 million (£20.8 million) fine, had she been found guilty.
The tax fraud allegations amounted to €14.5 million (£12.7 million) and were set to be examined in a Barcelona court.
Shakira, who consistently denied any wrongdoing, emphasized that she reached the settlement “with the best interest of my kids at heart.”
In a comprehensive statement, the pop icon explained that her decision was driven by her children’s desire to see their mother avoid personal sacrifices in an extended legal battle.
The singer had initially rejected a settlement proposed by prosecutors, opting to face trial to defend her innocence.
“Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others,” Shakira expressed. “Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me, as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people’s energy, time, and tranquillity for years at a time.”
While she remained determined to defend her innocence, Shakira ultimately chose to put an end to the prolonged legal proceedings.
She highlighted the need to move past the stress and emotional toll of recent years and redirect her focus toward her children and future career opportunities.
The settlement marks a resolution to a chapter of legal uncertainty for Shakira, allowing her to shift her attention back to her artistic pursuits and personal life.