Cristiano Ronaldo was fined almost €19 million ($21.6 million) for tax fraud but will avoid serving a 23-month prison sentence.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who played for Real Madrid from 2009-18, agreed to settle the case by paying an €18.8m fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence.
Ronaldo will not have to serve time in prison because judges in Spain can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders. His court appearance lasted about 15 minutes as he only needed to sign off on the previously settled agreement.
Before entering the courtroom, he stopped to sign an autograph and even posed for the shutterbugs. However, he did not interact with the media. Ronaldo had to enter the courtroom through the front door after his request for special security measures to avoid the spotlight was denied on Monday.
In 2017, Ronaldo denied the accusation that he knowingly used a business structure to hide income generated by his image rights in Spain between 2011 and 2014. After reaching the deal, he paid a fine of €5.7m, plus interest of about €1m, in July 2018, the prosecutor’s office said last week.
Ronaldo earns an estimated $93m (€80m) a year, according to Forbes, with approximately half coming from image rights deals with his many sponsors.
Separately, Ronaldo is facing a rape allegation in the United States. Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in Nevada in September claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request. Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing.
About his footballing career, Cristiano Ronaldo is having a whale of a time with his new club Juventus. After ending 2018 on a high, scoring most Serie A goals until the end of the year and highest goalscorer of Real Madrid despite not playing for the club since July, Ronaldo won his first trophy with the club, Supercoppa Italiana.