By Starrys Obazei / September 27, 2022.
Colombian music superstar Shakira is in trouble over tax fraud and a Spanish court has ordered her to stand trial at a date yet to be determined, court documents showed on Tuesday.
According to the prosecutors in Barcelona, who revealed in July, that Shakira would face a prison sentence of more than eight years and a fine of nearly 24 million euros ($24 million) after she rejected a plea deal over accusations of tax evasion.
They accuse the 45-year-old “Hips don’t Lie” songstress of defrauding the Spanish tax office of 14.5 million euros ($14.7 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014.
Prosecutors say Shakira moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.
The couple, who have two children, announced their separation in June.
On September 19, a Barcelona court ordered the singer to stand trial for six tax crimes, according to a court ruling made public on Tuesday.
In an interview published in Elle magazine last week, Shakira said she was confident she had behaved correctly and did not owe the Spanish tax office anything.
“These accusations are false,” she said.
“While Gerard and I were dating, I was on a world tour. I spent more than 240 days outside Spain, so there was no way I qualified as a resident,” she added.
“The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It’s clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what.”