Spanish prosecutors said on Friday that they would try to get Shakira to spend more than eight years in prison because she turned down a deal to plead guilty to tax evasion.
Prosecutors in Barcelona will also ask the 45-year-old “Hips Don’t Lie” singer to pay a fine of nearly 24 million euros ($24.5 million). They say she cheated the Spanish tax office out of 14.5 million euros in income between 2012 and 2014.
Shakira, who has sold more than 60 million albums, turned down a plea deal on Wednesday. In a statement released by her lawyers, she said she was “absolutely certain” of her innocence and had decided to let the case go to court because she was “confident” that her innocence would be proven there.
The case has not yet been officially sent to court, and a date for the trial has not been set.
Shakira is one of the biggest names in the music industry around the world. Her lawyers say that an agreement is still possible until the trial starts.
Prosecutors say Shakira moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona player Gerard Pique became public, but she kept her official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015. The couple, who have two children together, said that they were breaking up in June.
On Wednesday, The Star called the prosecutor’s office’s actions a “complete violation of her rights” and “abusive.”
She said that prosecutors were “insisting on claiming money I made on my international tours and on The Voice,” where she was a judge, even though she wasn’t living in Spain yet.
Between 2013 and 2014, Shakira was on the singing competition show.
Her lawyers say that she made most of her money from international tours until 2014. She moved to Spain full-time for the first time in 2015 and has paid all of her taxes.
She says she has paid 17.2 million euros in taxes to the Spanish government and has “not owed money to the Treasury for a long time.”
In May, the singer asked a court in Barcelona to drop the charges, but the court said no.
In October 2021, the “Pandora Papers,” one of the biggest leaks of financial documents ever, named Shakira as one of the public figures with offshore assets.
Shakira, who has won three Grammys, made big hits around the world with songs like “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Whenever, Wherever,” and “Waka Waka,” which was the official song of the 2010 World Cup.