Shakira is speaking candidly for the first time about her split from ex Gerard Piqué in a new interview with Elle.

The singer was with Piqué for 11 years before they announced their split in June 2022. They share two children together; sons Milan, 9, and Sasha, 7.

When asked about the split, Shakira says: “Oh, this is really hard to talk about personally, especially as this is the first time I’ve ever addressed this situation in an interview. I’ve remained quiet and just tried to process it all.

“Um, and yeah, 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. And so it’s been tough not only for me, but also for my kids. Incredibly difficult.”

Shakira, Gerard Piqué.
Shakira, Gerard Piqué. — AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File/CP Images

She adds, “I have paparazzi camping outside, in front of my house, 24/7. And there’s not a place where I can hide from them with my kids, except for my own house. You know, we can’t take a walk in the park like a regular family or go have an ice cream or do any activity without paparazzi following us. So it’s hard. And I’ve tried to conceal the situation in front of my kids. I try to do it and to protect them, because that’s my number one mission in life. But then they hear things in school from their friends or they come across some disagreeable, unpleasant news online, and it just affects them, you know?”

Shakira. PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Jaume de Laiguana
Shakira. PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Jaume de Laiguana

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The musician continues on how the kids have been dealing with the split: “I try to conceal the situation from them as much as I can. It’s really upsetting for two kids who are trying to process their parents’ separation. And sometimes I just feel like this is all a bad dream and that I’m going to wake up at some point. But no, it’s real.”

Shakira goes on to say of the breakdown of the couple’s relationship: “What’s also real is the disappointment to see something as sacred and as special as I thought was the relationship I had with my kids’ father and see that turned into something vulgarized and cheapened by the media. And all of this while my dad has been in the ICU and I’ve been fighting on different fronts. Like I said, this is probably the darkest hour of my life. But then I think about all those women around the world who are going through hardship, who are going through a situation as bad as mine or as difficult as mine or worse.

“For those women like me who believe in values like family who had the dream, the big dream of having a family forever, to see that dream broken or shredded into pieces is probably one of the most painful things that you can ever go through. But I think that women, we are resilient.”

Shakira. PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Jaume de Laiguana
Shakira. PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Jaume de Laiguana

Elsewhere in the tell-all interview, Shakira also talks about the Spanish government accusing her of tax fraud.

The Elle reporter asks, “You’re facing up to eight years in prison. They said you were a resident of Spain for tax purposes from 2011 to 2014, meaning for them that you spent over 183 days in the country. You decided to fight these accusations instead of settling with them. Why?”

Shakira responds, “Because I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations. 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. Second, I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them. And finally, I was advised by one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers, so I was confident that I was doing things correctly and transparently from day one.

“However, even without evidence to support these fictional claims, as they usually do, they’ve resorted to a salacious press campaign to try to sway people, and apply pressure in the media along with the threat of reputational damage in order to coerce settlement agreements.

“It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities do this often not only with celebrities like me (or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, [Xabi] Alonso, and many more), it also happens unjustly to the regular taxpayer. It’s just their style. But I’m confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favour.”