Spanish prosecutors said Friday they would seek a prison sentence of more than eight years against global music superstar Shakira, after she rejected a plea deal on accusations of tax evasion.
Prosecutors in Barcelona will also demand a fine of nearly 24 million euros ($24.5 million) from the 45-year-old “Hips don’t Lie” songstress, whom they accuse of defrauding the Spanish tax office out of 14.5 million euros on income earned between 2012 and 2014.
Shakira, who has sold over 60 million albums, rejected a plea deal on Wednesday, saying in a statement through her lawyers that she was “absolutely certain of her innocence” and had decided to let the case go to court, “confident” that her innocence would be proven.
A formal referral to court has not yet been announced, neither has a trial date been set.
Lawyers for Shakira, one of the biggest names in the global music industry, say an agreement remains possible until the start of any trial.
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 share two children, announced their separation in June.
On Wednesday, the star slammed the “complete violation of her rights” and “abusive methods” carried out by the prosecutor’s office.
Shakira has failed to reach an agreement with Spanish prosecutors on tax evasion charges, and she will go to trial insisting on her innocence.