Shakira feels confident that "justice will prevail" in her favour in her upcoming tax evasion trial in Spain.
The Colombian popstar has been accused by the Spanish government of failing to pay her taxes in the country between the years 2012 and 2014. They argue that she spent over 183 days per year in Spain during that time, making her a resident for tax purposes, while her team insist that her main residence was in the Bahamas.
In a cover interview with ELLE magazine, the Hips Don't Lie hitmaker explained that she chose to fight the allegations in court rather than privately settle the case as "a matter of principle".
"Because I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations," she stated. "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. Second, I've paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them. And finally, 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."
The 45-year-old insisted that the government has no evidence to support their "fictional claims" and accused them of embarking on a "salacious press campaign" to try and force her to settle the case.
"But I'm confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favour," she declared.
Shakira claimed that the Spanish tax authorities had their eye on her as soon as she started dating Spanish football player Gerard Piqué in 2011. She continued to travel around the world extensively until their first son, Milan, now nine, started school in 2014 and she settled down in Barcelona.
"While Gerard and I were dating, I was on a world tour. I spent more than 240 days outside of Spain, so there was no way I qualified as a resident," she insisted. "The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It's clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what. Even for the next few years, I was travelling the world, working nonstop while pregnant or with Milan as a baby, when my C-section had barely closed. They knew I wasn't in Spain the required time, that Spain wasn't my place of work or my source of income, but they still came after me, with their eyes on the prize."
Shakira and Gerard, who split earlier this year, also share a seven-year-old son named Sasha.
A date for the trial has not yet been set.