Shakira is reportedly thinking about admitting to a $16.1 million tax fraud.
The 46-year-old Colombian singer is set to stand trial on Monday in Barcelona over six counts of alleged fraud, with the threat of an eight-year prison sentence and $27 million fine hanging over her head.
Despite her long-term denial of any wrongdoing, Spanish newspaper El Mundo has claimed the ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ performer has been finalising a deal to avoid jail – and said “everything was pointing” to her not being caged due to the deal with prosecutors her legal team apparently has in the works.
El Mundo reported: “In the last few days Shakira’s lawyers have intensified their contact, both in person and remotely, with state prosecution representatives and contacts that represent the interest of Spain’s Tax Agency.
“It appears both sides will reach an agreement in which the artist will admit to her crime, will pay a high sum of money as a fine, and will receive a prison sentence of less than two years which she won’t have to serve because she has no existing criminal record in Spain.”
Sources also told the newspaper Shakira was still insisting she has not committed tax fraud but is willing to settle with prosecutors to spare herself a gruelling trial insiders say she fears could damage her reputation.
Shakira – born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll and who now lives in Miami with her two children – has said the authorities came after her with their eyes “on the prize” when they found out she was dating footballer Gerard Piqué, 36, who has since moved on with his 24-year-old girlfriend Clara Chia.
The singer and former player Gerard have children, Milan, 10, and Sasha, eight, and were living together in Barcelona until last year, when they ended their 12-year relationship.
Gerard was convicted of tax fraud in 2016 and later ordered to pay the tax office $2.3 million.