Shakira is in deep waters concerning her $13.9 million tax evasion case in Spain. The singer is ordered to stand trial and faces an eight-year jail sentence plus a large fine if she is found guilty. Today (September 27), Spanish authorities cleared the way for prosecutors to pursue further legal action against the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer, 45, per the Associated Press.
As we’ve earlier reported, the Colombian singer rejected a settlement offer from prosecutors that would have settled the case out of court back in July. Shakira has denied any wrongdoing of evading taxes from 2012 to 2014. Her public relations firm maintains that she has paid what she owed plus 3 million Euros in interest. A trial date has not yet been set.
Her publicists in London said that Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, “has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer.” The publicists accused the Spanish Tax Agency of violating her rights.
The case hinges on where Shakira lived during the two-year time span. The performer alleges that she spent most of her time in her primary residence, the Bahamas. Prosecutors will aim to prove she spent the majority of the period in Spain.
In documents obtained by Spanish newspaper El Pais, the singer’s defense claimed that she had spent most of her time abroad, and made no effort to intentionally hide her income, citing any misunderstandings as “a difference in criteria.” In May, a court in Spain dismissed her appeal in the case, ruling that there was enough proof to move forward. The court upheld a ruling from July 2021, when Spanish Judge Marco Juberías determined there was “sufficient evidence of criminality” following a three year investigation.
A representative for the Colombian musician told People in July she is “confident in her innocence,” adding, “Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the counsel of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm. Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one out of every two lawsuits with its taxpayers, continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another baseless case. Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven by the end of the judicial process.”
The tax evasion news comes on the heels of Shakira’s announcement that she and her longtime partner professional soccer player Gerard Piqué are splitting. The couple share two sons, Milan, 9, and Sasha, 7. “We regret to confirm that we are separating,” the couple, who first confirmed their relationship in March 2011 said in a joint statement at the time. “We ask for privacy at this moment for the well-being of our children, who are our maximum priority. Thank you in advance for your understanding and respect.”