Spanish Authorities Order Shakira to Face Trial for Tax Fraud
Tough times continue to plague Shakira as the Colombian singer is set to stand trial for her tax evasion case in Spain.
According to the Associated Press, the Spanish authorities have allowed prosecutors to further legal action against the 45-year-old singer, who could face an eight-year sentence in addition to a multi-million dollar fine if found guilty.
The "Te felicito" vocalist rejected a settlement offer in July and has vehemently denied fraud. According to AP, the public relations firm representing the singer affirms that the artist has paid her dues in addition to $3 million in interest.
"I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations. First of all, I didn't spend 183 days per year at that time at all. I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world," she said during an interview with Elle. "Second, I've paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them."
She added, "I was advised by one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers, so I was confident that I was doing things correctly and transparently from day one."
Spanish authorities are claiming that Shakira lived in Spain from 2012 to 2014 when she met her ex-boyfriend Gerard Pique, however, the singer claims to have been performing on a world tour and living in her home in the Bahamas during that time.
"Even without evidence to support these fictional claims, as they usually do, they've resorted to a salacious press campaign to try to sway people, and apply pressure in the media along with the threat of reputational damage in order to coerce settlement agreements," she continued.
The investigation, which has gone on for three years, continues to be upheld by the Spanish courts. AP reports that on July 21 the Spanish court upheld a ruling that determined there was "sufficient evidence of criminality."
"It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities do this often not only with celebrities like me (or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, [Xabi] Alonso, and many more), it also happens unjustly to the regular taxpayer," Shakira concluded. "It's just their style. But I'm confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor."
According to a statement acquired by PEOPLE, one of the singer's representatives assures that Shakira has cooperated and abided by the law.
"Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the counsel of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm," they said.
Adding, "Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one out of every two lawsuits with its taxpayers, continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another baseless case. Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven by the end of the judicial process."