(NewsReady.com) – Latin singer Shakira (Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll) has had a rough couple of years. Not only did she break up with her boyfriend of more than a decade, she was in trouble with the authorities in Spain. Now, she has finally settled that issue.
On November 20, Shakira was in Barcelona for the first day of her tax fraud trial. After about 8 minutes, the trial was called off. She reached an agreement with the prosecutors to avoid a prison sentence. During the hearing, she told Judge José Manuel del Amo that she had accepted a deal. When he asked her if she acknowledged that she hadn’t paid 14.5 million euros (roughly $15.8 million) in taxes for two years between 2012 and 2014, she answered in the affirmative.
Prosecutors claim Shakira lived in Spain for more than half the year, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas. They argued that she should have paid the Spanish government taxes on her worldwide income.
The singer lived in Spain because her ex-boyfriend and the father of her children, Gerard Piqué, played soccer for Barcelona FC. The couple were together for 11 years before breaking up amid rumors that he cheated on her. She went on to write a song about him that helped her win a Latin Grammy just days before the fraud trial began.
The singer agreed to pay a fine of 7 million euros ($7.6 million) and would receive a three-year suspended sentence. Prosecutors previously said they were going to seek 24 million euros ($26 million) and a sentence of 8 years and 2 months.
The New York Times reported Shakira issued a statement after the hearing. She said that she’s always tried to “set a positive example for others” and wanted to defend herself but decided to settle the matter “with the best interest of [her] kids at heart.”
Shakira isn’t the only star to get caught evading taxes in Spain. Lionel Messi, regarded as the best soccer player in the world, was convicted of tax fraud in 2017. He also received a suspended sentence and a fine.
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