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Shakira ‘Is Confident in Her Innocence’ as Spain Seeks 8-Year Jail Term for Unpaid Taxes

Shakira attends the 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on May 16, 2022 in New York City.

Shakira attends the 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on May 16, 2022 in New York City.

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Shakira has rejected a settlement offer in a tax fraud case in Spain and could face eight years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors in Spain are reportedly seeking an eight-year sentence for Shakira if she is convicted in trial over a $15 million tax fraud case, Reuters and the Associated Press reported Friday.

The superstar, 45, is accused of failing to pay taxes from 2012 to 2014, a period in which she claims she did not live in Spain. Meanwhile, earlier this week, the “Hips Don’t Lie” rejected a settlement offer from the prosecutors office to close the case, per Reuters. The singer opted to go to trial instead, though a date has not been set.

Shakira performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Shakira performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Focus on Sport/Getty Shakira

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Meanwhile, a representative for the Colombian musician tells PEOPLE she is “confident in her innocence.”

“Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the counsel of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a respected and globally recognized tax firm,” the rep says.

Their statement continues, “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.”

In May, a court in Spain dismissed her appeal in the case, ruling that there was enough proof to move forward. The court upheld a ruling from July 2021, when Spanish Judge Marco Juberías determined there was “sufficient evidence of criminality” following an investigation that went on for three years, according to the AP.

Shakira previously claimed that she had spent the majority of those years as a resident of the Bahamas, and filed her taxes accordingly. In documents obtained by both El Periodico and El Paisthe singer’s defense claimed that she had indeed spent most of her time abroad, and made no effort to intentionally hide her income, citing any misunderstandings as “a difference in criteria.”

At the time, Shakira’s representatives told the Associated Press that she paid the debt after the country’s tax agency told her what she owed.

“Shakira’s conduct on tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries where she has had to pay taxes, and she has trusted and faithfully followed the recommendations of the best specialists and expert advisors,” they said, per the Associated Press and Reuters, adding that her lawyers plan to “defend her innocence.”

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Shakira denied the accusations against her while testifying in June 2019, according to the Associated Press.

She was first accused of tax evasion in January 2018. That February, she paid nearly $25 million in owed taxes.

The development in the case comes a month after Shakira announced that she and her partner Gerard Piqué — who share two sons, Milan9, and Sasha7 — are taking time apart.

“We regret to confirm that we are separating,” the couple, who first confirmed their relationship in March 2011 said in a joint statement in June. “We ask for privacy at this moment for the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority. Thank you in advance for your understanding and respect.”

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