Pop star Shakira has gracefully sidestepped a €14.5 million tax trial in Spain, sealing a last-minute deal with authorities just as proceedings were set to commence.
The Colombian star, known for hits like "Hips Don't Lie," appeared in court on Monday, offering a blown kiss to onlookers before agreeing to a €7 million (£6.1 million) fine.
Acknowledging her failure to pay taxes to the Spanish government, Shakira received a suspended three-year sentence during the brief hearing, as reported by the AP news agency.
In a statement to Sky News, the 46-year-old singer expressed her commitment to doing what's right and serving as a positive example. However, she emphasized her desire to move past the stress, signaling the end of a potential weeks-long trial involving numerous witnesses.
The agreement not only spared Shakira from a hefty trial but also led prosecutors to drop their demand for an eight-year jail sentence. The singer's decision to settle preemptively was influenced by her concern for her two sons with ex-partner Gerard Pique.
Despite her legal team's confidence in a favorable trial outcome, Shakira prioritized her children's well-being over a protracted legal battle.
Facing six counts of failing to pay €14.5 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014, the case centered on Shakira's residency during that period. She asserted her innocence, contending that spending less than 60 days a year in Spain exempted her from fiscal residency.
The singer had sought advice from renowned tax authorities PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited and Ernst & Young Global Limited throughout the process.
In her statement, Shakira lamented the draining impact of such cases on high-profile individuals, citing the emotional toll of legal battles.
Eager to redirect her focus to her children and upcoming career milestones, including a world tour and a new album, she expressed admiration for those who fight such injustices to the end.
Shakira's resolution echoes Spain's previous crackdown on football stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for tax offenses. While the singer's legal saga unfolded, she celebrated three wins at the Latin Grammys, an ironic twist considering her legal predicament.
As she navigates ongoing tax evasion charges from 2018, Shakira's lawyers remain optimistic about a resolution, ensuring she can concentrate on her flourishing career and cherished family moments.
[With information sourced from Sky News]