BARCELONA6 - Colombian pop star Shakira has reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors to settle a tax fraud case, just as her trial was about to begin. The singer has paid a €7.5m (£6.5m) fine - prosecutors had wanted to jail her for eight years and fine her €23.8m (£20.8m) if found guilty. She had faced tax fraud allegations for €14.5m (£12.7m) in a Barcelona court. Shakira, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, said she settled “with the best interest of my kids at heart”. In a lengthy statement, she said her children “do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight”. The performer had previously rejected a deal offered by prosecutors, instead opting to go to trial. “Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others,” she said. “Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people’s energy, time, and tranquillity for years at a time. “While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight.” She added she needed to “move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love - my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career”. At the centre of this row is Shakira’s residency status between 2012 and 2014, when prosecutors alleged that she was living in Spain but listing her official residence elsewhere. Under Spanish law, people who spend more than six months in the country are considered residents for tax purposes. But Shakira says Spain was not where she was mainly living at the time.