BARCELONA – Colombian pop superstar Shakira has broken her silence on her split with football star Gerard Pique, describing it as probably the “darkest hour” of her life as it happened while she was also facing the challenges of tax evasion allegations and concerns over her father who was in the intensive care unit.
Shakira, 45, and Pique, 35, surprised fans in June when they announced their separation. The former couple, who were not married, had been together for 12 years and have two sons – Milan, nine, and Sasha, seven.
“It’s hard to talk about it, especially because I’m still going through it, and because I’m in the public eye and because our separation is not like a regular separation,” Shakira said in an interview with Elle magazine. “And so it’s been tough not only for me, but also for my kids. Incredibly difficult.”
Shakira said there was no place for her to hide with her children except in her own house, and even then, there were paparazzi camping outside her house round the clock.
“Honestly, the depiction in the local press here in Spain has been so hard to watch. And invasive for my kids,” she said. “They don’t deserve to feel observed or watched every second, photographed at school drop-off, or followed by paparazzi. They deserve a normal life.”
The Try Everything (2016) singer did not address how her relationship with Pique fell apart, as she was reportedly surprised that the relationship was over.
In August, Spanish media outlet Socialite released a video of the Barcelona player kissing 23-year-old student Clara Chia Marti at the Summerfest Cerdanya festival in Catalonia.
“I think that those details are somehow too private to share, at least at this very moment – everything is so raw and new,” Shakira said. “I can only say that I put everything I had into this relationship and my family.”
Shakira also denied accusations of tax fraud in the interview, as she reportedly could face up to eight years in jail if convicted.
“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,” she said. Individuals who spend more than 183 days in Spain are considered a tax resident for that year.
“Second, I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them.”
Shakira said she was confident she had done things correctly and transparently as she was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the Big Four accounting firms.
In addition to the break-up and tax fraud accusations, Shakira also have to cope with her father’s health.
“He came to Barcelona when he heard about my family crisis, and he came to give me his support. But then he fell and had a subdural hematoma. And so he had brain surgery,” she said.
She added that her father fell again a week later and broke many bones in his face.
“And I feel like in this moment of my life, which is probably one of the most difficult, darkest hours of my life, music has brought light,” Shakira said.
She let on that she would be releasing her first full album since El Dorado in 2017.
“I think everyone has their own processes or their own mechanisms to process grief or stress or anxiety. We all go through stuff in life,” she said.
“But in my case, I think that writing music is like going to the shrink, only cheaper. It just helps me process my emotions and make sense of them. And it helps me to heal.”