MADRID – Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo was fined almost €19 million (almost R300 million) for tax fraud on Tuesday, but will avoid serving a 23-month prison sentence after agreeing a deal.
Ronaldo, holding hands with his Spanish fiancee Georgina Rodriguez, came out of the court room smiling, pausing to sign autographs before leaving in a black van.
The 33-year-old Juventus forward, who played for Real Madrid from 2009-18, agreed to settle the case by paying an €18.8 million fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence.
Under Spanish law, a first offender can serve anything less than a two-year sentence under probation, and Ronaldo will not have to go to prison.
His court appearance lasted about 15 minutes as the five-time world footballer of the year only needed to sign off on the previously settled agreement.