Shakira faces eight years in jail over Spanish tax fraud claims

Shakira, the Latin Grammy-winning singer, is due in court in Barcelona on Monday on charges of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of €14.5m (£12.7m).

The 46-year-old Colombian musician, who lives in Miami with her two children, faces eight years in jail and a €24m fine if found guilty.

The case is based on the assertion that in the years 2012-14 Shakira spent more than six months as a Spanish resident, thus making her liable, a claim she denies.

In order to prove that she was a Spanish resident, the prosecution has called 117 witnesses, among them hairdressers, studio technicians, dance teachers, therapists, beauticians, gynaecologists and her chauffeur.

The singer accuses the tax authorities of running a campaign to “tarnish her image” and to make an example of her to other Spanish taxpayers, while the prosecution claims she deliberately set out to defraud the exchequer by hiding her earnings in tax havens.

“These are false accusations,” she claimed in an interview last year. “First of all, I didn’t spend 183 days per year at that time at all. I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world.

“Second, I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So, as of today, I owe zero to them.

“The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It’s clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what,” Shakira, the former wife ofthe Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué said.

“They knew I wasn’t in Spain the required time, that Spain wasn’t my place of work or my source of income, but they still came after me, with their eyes on the prize.”

Amid rumours that the so-called queen of Latin pop has rejected a deal that would keep her out of jail, the trial is expected to last until 14 December. Whatever the outcome of the case, the singer faces separate charges of failing to pay €6.6m in taxes in 2018.

When Shakira and Piqué separated last year over his affair with Clara Chía, then 22, she had a hit with a “diss” track, a collaboration with the Argentinian producer and DJ Bizarrap, in which she sings: “I’m worth two 22-year-olds,” adding: “You swapped a Ferrari for a [Renault] Twingo/You swapped a Rolex for a Casio.”

The song was viewed 63m times in 24 hours, a YouTube record.

“People on my team tried to convince me to change the lyrics, but I’m not a UN diplomat,” Shakira said in an interview with ¿Hola! magazine. “I’m an artist and, above all, a woman.”

Last week, Shakira won three Latin Grammy awards, including best song, at a ceremony in Seville.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.