Shakira is breaking her silence about her split from partner Gerard Piqué, and the "incredibly difficult" effect it is having on their two children.
"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," the 45-year-old pop star told ELLE for its October issue. "I’ve remained quiet and just tried to process it all."
In June, the Colombian singer and Spanish soccer player confirmed their breakup in a statement to TODAY.
"We regret to confirm that we are separating. For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we request respect for privacy. Thank you for your understanding."
The couple met in 2010 while filming the music video for Shakira's song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," which featured multiple soccer players and became the official 2010 FIFA World Cup song.
Although they didn't marry, Shakira told Glamour in 2014, "We already have what’s essential, you know? We have a union, a love for each other, and a baby. I think that those aspects of our relationship are already established, and marriage is not going to change them. But if I’m ever going to get married, he’s the one."
The split, however, has been hard for their kids.
"I’m in the public eye and because our separation is not like a regular separation," Shakira told ELLE. "And so it’s been tough not only for me, but also for my kids. Incredibly difficult. 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?"
The mom tries to protect her children from the media's "invasive" attention at home in Barcelona.
"They don’t deserve to feel observed or watched every second, photographed at school drop-off, or followed by paparazzi," she told ELLE of her sons. "They deserve a normal life. It’s just a total circus, and everyone is speculating about all of these aspects of our, and more importantly our children’s, lives, and a lot of it isn’t even true."
She continued, "Regardless of how things ended or how Gerard and I feel about each other as ex-partners, he is the father of my children. We have a job to do for these two incredible boys, and I have faith that we will figure out what is best for their future, their own dreams in life, and what is a fair solution for everyone involved."
When asked about Piqué's rumored romance and whether Shakira was surprised by the ending of their relationship, she hesitated to share.
"I think that those details are somehow too private to share, at least at this very moment — everything is so raw and new."
She added, "I can only say that I put everything I had into this relationship and my family."