Shakira Claims She's Been 'Fiercely Persecuted' In Spain

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Shakira has accused Spanish tax authorities of violating her “right to privacy the presumption of innocence.”

The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer is accused of not paying 14.5 million euros (nearly $19 million) in taxes on income between 2012 and 2014. When she was charged with four counts of tax fraud in 2018, prosecutors alleged her consultants created a “web of companies” in Malta, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Panama and Luxembourg to hide income from Spain. 

Shakira, who is facing up to eight years behind bars if convicted, turned down a plea deal in July. In a statement at the time, her reps said she “trusts her innocence and chooses to leave the issues in the hands of the law, with the peace of mind and confidence that justice will prove her right.”

A date for the trial has not been set.

In a statement released on Friday, Shakira was described as “a taxpayer who has always shown impeccable tax conduct and has never had tax problems in any other jurisdiction.” It said she has relied upon advisors at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

“With no solid evidence to support the charges against her, she has been fiercely persecuted in the criminal and media spheres using unacceptable methods to damage her reputation and force her to come to a settlement agreement,” it read.

Under Spanish law, a person who spends 183 days or more in the country must pay tax on their global income. Shakira argued that she was primarily living in the Bahamas and only made sporadic visits to Spain to see her then-partner, FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué.

But prosecutors claim she spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in 2014.

The Colombian singer said she became responsible for paying income tax in Spain when she enrolled their son Milan in school there in 2014.

Shakira and Piqué confirmed in June that they ended their relationship after about 12 years. In 2016, Piqué was convicted of defrauding the tax agency between 2008 and 2010. He appealed but, in 2019, was ordered to pay 2.1 million euros ($2.7 million) in tax arrears and fines.

In the statement last week, Shakira’s reps said she “has never earned a significant income” in Spain but paid more than 90 million euros (approx. $127 million) for “international income that has not been generated in Spain and for her international assets.”