SHAKIRA has hit out at Spanish tax chiefs, accusing them of "salivating" at the prospect of taking her money amid the singer's ongoing legal woes.

The "Hips Don't Lie" singer, 45, is facing up to eight years in jail if found guilty of six counts of tax fraud.



Spanish prosecutors are pushing for the highest-possible sentence for Shakira over six separate counts of tax fraud totalling 14.5 million euros (£12.2m).

As well as an eight-year prison sentence, state prosecutors want the mum-of-two to be slapped with a 23 million euro fine (£19.2m).

The Colombian-born singer is accused of pretending to live abroad to avoid paying tax despite moving to Barcelona in 2011 to be with her then-boyfriend, Spain and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, 35.

She has already paid out an estimated three million euros (£2.5m) to the Spanish taxman.

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Tax inspectors spent more than a year checking up on Shakira, even visiting her favourite hairdressers in Barcelona and checking her social media to try to show she spent most of the three years in dispute in Spain.

They concluded she had spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in the country in 2014.

The singer, who rose to global fame in 2001 with her hit "Wherever, Whenever" was resident in the Bahamas for tax purposes, before registering for tax in Spain in 2015.

In an interview with the magazine Elle, she slammed prosecutors for carrying out a witchhunt against her.

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"While Gerard and I were dating, I was on a world tour," she said. "I spent more than 240 days outside of Spain, so there was no way I qualified as a resident.

"The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate."

She added: "It's clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what."

Shakira added that she had worked non-stop abroad during the time that Spanish prosecutors claim she was living in Spain, but that tax chiefs "still came after me, with their eyes on the prize".

She said her decision to reject a plea deal and go to court was "a matter of principle".

Shakira denies any wrongdoing.

The singer has faced woes in her personal life as well this year.

In June, she split from Pique after 11 years together. The pair have two children.

Pique is alleged to have cheated on the singer, who he first met in 2010 on the set of the music video for her official World Cup single "Waka Waka".

Last month, it was revealed the defender is dating student Clara Chia Marti, 23.

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Marti is believed to have met the World Cup and Champions League winner while working on events at his production company, Kosmos.

Those close to the couple claim they have been dating for some time.

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