Global pop star Shakira has reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors on the first day of her tax fraud trial.
The agreement avoids a lengthy trial and resolves the charges against Shakira of failing to pay millions of euros in taxes between 2012 and 2014.
Under the terms of the deal, Shakira has agreed to pay a fine of €20 million (approximately $21 million) and serve a suspended sentence of eight years and two months in prison. She has also admitted to six counts of tax fraud.
"I have always cooperated with the Spanish tax authorities and have paid all the taxes that I was required to pay," Shakira said in a statement. "I am confident that the Spanish courts will recognize my innocence."
Prosecutors had originally sought a prison sentence of eight years and two months for Shakira. However, they agreed to a reduced sentence and a fine in exchange for Shakira's guilty plea.
"This is a great outcome for Shakira," said her lawyer, Jose Monasterio. "She has always maintained her innocence, and she is now able to put this matter behind her."
Shakira is one of the most successful Latin American artists of all time, with over 140 million records sold worldwide. She has won numerous awards, including five Grammy Awards, ten Latin Grammy Awards, and the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Artist.
The tax fraud trial against Shakira was one of the most high-profile cases in Spain in recent years. The deal between the singer and prosecutors is a significant development in the case, and it is likely to have a major impact on her career and reputation.
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