Along with being an international singing sensation, Shakira frequently lends her talents elsewhere as well. Less we all forget, there was her iconic turn as the showstopping Gazelle character in Disney’s Zootopia. In addition, Shakira did two seasons as a coach on NBC’s The Voice in 2013 and 2014. But it was JLo’s Netflix doc about their joint performances at the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime show where the star made another splash. Unfortunately, though, the star has been hit with a major tax fraud case of late. Not only does she refuse to settle it – it’s getting closer to going all the way to trial.
What we know so far, per Reuters, is that the Colombian native is accused of not paying 14.5 million euros (or $14.7 million) worth of tax income in Barcelona, Spain. Shakira claims that she wasn’t even living in the country during the suggested years (2012 to 2014) and that she was in the Bahamas and elsewhere. Apparently, the prosecution offered a settlement deal to the former Voice coach in order to resolve things amicably outside of a trial, but she rejected the undisclosed amount. As a result, it’s expected that the court will set a date for trial proceedings as the next step in the process.
In a statement to the outlet from the 45-year-old’s legal team, they maintained that her record for keeping up with taxes is spotless. And in terms of the tax fraud accusations and subsequent settlement offer in the case, it was suggested that the Grammy winner views the whole legal situation as a “total violation of her rights.” That’s why she wouldn’t consider making a deal. Her team continued:
The singer is fully confident of her innocence and therefore does not accept a settlement.
She alleges that she didn’t move to Barcelona until 2015. At that time, she was living with the father of her two children a.k.a professional soccer player Gerard Pique. Another potential complication to the tax timeline in question is that Shakira was technically on and off filming her stints on The Voice (which takes place at Universal Studios Hollywood) during that same period. It seems that it may be possible that this could all be a huge mix-up – but on who’s end, it won’t be clear until the trial.
This isn’t the first sticky legal mess that the performer has had to deal with, though. The Spanish investigation into her taxes and finances came about actually after she was named as one of millions in the 2017 leaked “Paradise Papers” who had off-shore bank accounts, per the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Nevertheless, Shakira seems pretty convinced about her side of the story, and she's not the first celeb to find themselves in such a situation. They’re not as well known as the touted “Queen of Latin Music,” obviously, but USA Network’s Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty by a jury over similar charges in June and had denied any wrongdoing up until the verdict was released. (Now, they face upwards of 30 years in prison.) Additionally, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah has lately taken a guilty plea deal in her own fraud case after months of proclaiming her innocence as well, and she reportedly is going to prison for 14 years by some reports.
Though things might be different in Barcelona. The prosecution in the performer's case is reportedly asking for eight years of prison now that she’s rejected the settlement. But clearly, she’s willing to fight things until the end.
Fans of the “Hips Don’t Lie” icon can check out the Halftime documentary with a Netflix subscription. Meanwhile, The Voice and more competition shows are still expected to have fall premieres on the 2022 TV schedule.