Colombian pop superstar Shakira has been handed a seven-figure fine as part of a deal that both allows her to swerve jail time and puts an end to a lengthy fraud trial in Barcelona before it even began
The singer, who has a net worth of roughly £240 million, will be fined £6.4 million (€7.3m) for the six tax fraud crimes she confessed to as part of the deal announced in court today, less than a third of the amount prosecutors were seeking.
She had already repaid the tax which Spanish officials had accused her of dodging – which with interest on top came to nearly £15 million (€17m). She will also have to pay a fine of £378,000 (€432,000) to avoid prison.
The global superstar arrived at a Barcelona courthouse on Monday to attend the first day of her trial for allegedly defrauding the Spanish state of £12.5 million (€14.5m) on income earned between 2012 and 2014.
Wearing a pink suit and sunglasses, the 46-year-old arrived outside the building just before 10am (0900 GMT). She blew a kiss to onlookers before she headed up the court steps and disappeared into the building, looking calm and relaxed.
It was quickly announced that she had reached the settlement, with Shakira (full name Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll) telling the presiding judge that she had accepted the agreement reached with prosecutors.
In a statement, she insisted she was innocent but said she had made the decision to ‘spare my children seeing their mother sacrifice her well-being’.
‘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,’ she said.
But in her statement, she also blasted the Spanish authorities for pursuing her, saying her case was similar to others which have seen authorities go after ‘athletes and other high-profile individuals’. Such cases, she said, drain ‘those people’s energy, time, and tranquillity for years at a time.’