Colombian superstar Shakira and FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique announced Saturday they were ending their relationship of more than a decade.
The 45-year-old “Hips don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka” songstress is one of the biggest names in the global music industry and has sold more than 60 million albums.
Spanish football hero Pique, 35, won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship and is a three-time Champions League winner with Barcelona.
AFP reports that the couple shares two sons and had been living together for years on the outskirts of Barcelona. They said in a statement:
We regret to confirm that we are separating. For the well-being of our children, who are our utmost priority, we request respect for (our) privacy.
The couple announced their separation just over a week after Spanish court documents inched Shakira closer to standing trial in Spain for tax fraud after a Barcelona court dismissed an appeal from the singer.
Spanish prosecutors accuse her of defrauding the Spanish tax office out of 14.5 million euros ($15.5 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014.
They say she moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with Pique became public but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.
Her defence lawyers say she moved to Spain full time only in 2015 and insist that her “conduct on tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries she had to pay taxes”.
In an interview with AFP in 2019, Shakira said temporarily losing her voice two years earlier had been “the darkest moment of her life” and affected her “deeply”.
She later recovered her voice naturally, without needing to undergo surgery as recommended by doctors and subsequently carried out a world tour in 2018.