Shakira is ready to speak her truth, wherever, whenever.
Shakira confirmed her acknowledgement of six counts of failing to pay the Spanish government 14.5 million euros—the equivalent of about $15.8 million—in taxes between 2012 and 2014, the Associated Press reported Nov. 20. Per the outlet, the deal will see the singer receive a suspended 3-year sentence and a fine of 7 million euros—or $7.6 million.
"Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what's right and set a positive example for other," Shakira said in a Nov. 20 statement to E! News of her decision to accept the deal. "That often means taking the extra step in business and personal financial decisions to procure the absolute best counsel, including seeking the advice of the world's preeminent tax authorities such as PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, who advised me from the start, and subsequently Ernst & Young Global Limited."
She continued, "Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people's energy, time, and tranquility for years at a time. While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favor, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight."
"I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love - my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career," she added, "including my upcoming world tour and my new album, both of which I am extremely excited about. 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."
This tax fraud case hinged on where Shakira spent the majority of her time between 2012 and 2014—either her residence in Spain, where she was living at the time with Gerard, or in her residence in the Bahamas.
Shakira's decision to accept the deal for these charges avoids a longer trial, during which over 100 witnesses were set to testify, according to AP.
As a result of a separate investigation opened in July by the Spanish government against the Grammy winner, Shakira was charged by state prosecutors in September for alleged evasion of 6.7 million euros in tax on her 2018 income. This investigation is independent of the now-closed case against Shakira for the instances between 2012 and 2014.
Regarding this new investigation, a source with knowledge of the situation told E! News at the time that "Shakira defends having always acted in accordance with the law and under the advice of the best tax experts," adding that the Colombian singer "is now focused on her life as an artist in Miami and is confident that there will be a favorable resolution of her tax issues."