Shakira is remaining quiet no longer about her split from longtime boyfriend Gerard Piqué following allegations of his infidelity.
In a new cover interview for Elle’s October issue, the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer addressed the sudden breakup for the first time.
“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,” she said. “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.”
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Though they never married, Shakira and Piqué’s separation this June came as a surprise to fans. The two were together for 12 years and share two children: Milan, 9, and Sasha, 7. Shakira also famously wrote her 2017 hit “Me Enamoré” (I fell in love) about the soccer star. During their romance, the Colombian singer and the Spanish athlete lived in Barcelona so that Piqué could continue his professional soccer career at FC Barcelona—though moving to the United States would have been better for Shakira’s singing career.
“And so, one of the two had to make that effort and that sacrifice. And I did it. I put my career in second gear and I came to Spain, to support him so he could play football and win titles. And it was a sacrifice of love,” Shakira told Elle. “Thanks to that, my kids were able to have a present mom, and I have this amazing bond with them that is unbreakable and that sustains us. You know, that is it. That’s all I can say.”
Neither have addressed the claims that Piqué cheated on Shakira toward the end of their relationship, but the soccer player has since been linked to 23-year-old student Clara Chia Marti. Photos of the two kissing at the Summerfest Cerdanya festival in Catalonia were released by Spanish media outlet Socialite last month.
“I think that those details are somehow too private to share, at least at this very moment—everything is so raw and new. I can only say that I put everything I had into this relationship and my family,” Shakira told Elle of her ex’s new romance.
As she copes with her split from her longtime partner, Shakira is also dealing with a tax evasion complication and her father’s health (he had a bad fall in June and was rushed to the hospital).
“Yeah. 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,” she said.
“And 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,” the singer added. “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.”
Shakira said that what’s pushing her to move past her pain is her children, and her mission to be a good example for them no matter how dark times get.
“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,” Shakira said. “But I think that women, we are resilient. You know, we have this resiliency that is just innate in all of us. And we are meant to nurture and to take care of those who depend on us.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.