Inside The Downfall Of Shakira's Relationship

Though they seemed like one of the happiest couples in Hollywood (or maybe we should say Spain, where they spent much of their marriage) it just wasn't meant to be for Shakira and Gerard Piqué. The two announced they were going their separate ways in June 2022 after more than a decade together, saying in a statement (via CNN), "We regret to confirm that we are separating. For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we request respect for [our] privacy. Thank you for your understanding."

The twosome never married, but first met when Piqué popped up in the music video for "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," the official song of the World Cup 2010. They then went on to welcome two sons into the world, Milan, who was born in 2013 and Sasha, born in 2015.

It seemed like these two were willing to make it work no matter what came their way, with the pair repeatedly gushing about one another in interviews. Even a 10-year age gap wasn't enough to derail things, despite the "Hips Don't Lie" singer's initial reservations. "It took me many years to get to where I am in my life now. I wasn't fulfilled or satisfied and I think Gerard was the missing link," she told The Scottish Sun in 2014. "He was only 23 when I met him and I was concerned about the age gap as I was 33, but I'm no pedophile." So what really went wrong here?

Shakira's depression

Shakira has been very vocal about some of the tougher times in her life that may have put a bit of a strain on her relationship with Gerard Piqué. In 2017, Shakira experienced depression following a hemorrhage of her vocal cord, which left her in a very dark place. The injury was so bad that the star was forced to cancel a slew of tour dates across the world, and she described the experience as serving up some of the most difficult days of her career on Twitter. "I've never been faced with a situation like this," she wrote when announcing her canceled shows, calling the whole ordeal a "nightmare."

The star also spoke openly about how that very difficult time in her life affected her relationship with her longtime love. "[Piqué] jokes that you would think you would want your wife to shut up — but when I had to remain quiet, he felt like one of those ex-convicts who are given their freedom and don't know what to do with it," she joked to The Guardian in 2019. Shakira also shed more light on her mental state at the time, confessing, "I was not positive. I was so pessimistic. I was a bitter person to be around. Gerard saw the worst of me."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Gerard Piqué's sex confessions

TMI? Gerard Piqué made a pretty eyebrow raising claim in March 2022 — just weeks before his split with Shakira was announced — when he claimed (we hope joked) that he preferred riling up soccer fans and getting wolf whistled to getting intimate with his wife. Yeah, we're guessing that didn't go over too well. 

"I'm happy that Espanyol has been promoted to the first division because that's how we play in their stadium. I like to go there, I get whistled at all the time," Piqué, who plays for rival team FC Barcelona, explained during a lengthy chat on "The Wild Project." "You laugh and the fans get even madder. There is nothing comparable in the world. I would say it's better than sex. I enjoy it a lot more than playing against Real Madrid." Erm, okay. 

That's not the only time the athlete may have left Shakira blushing by speaking out about their time behind closed doors, though. In March 2019, during an appearance on the Spanish TV show "La Resistencia," Piqué was asked how many times he's, erm, gotten intimate that month. He then responded, "Counting the Bernabeu?" which appeared to be a nod to the stadium Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and his team beating Real Madrid there.

Why Shakira and Gerard Piqué never got married

Shakira and Gerard Piqué were together for almost 12 years and welcomed two children before they split — but they never actually made it official and got married. Of course, marriage isn't for everyone, but Piqué appeared to suggest not tying the knot was mainly his partner's idea. Fellow soccer player Gary Neville admitted he thought Piqué and Shakira were married during an Instagram interview posted mere weeks before their breakup was announced, to which Piqué clarified he wasn't. "Yeah, it's her mentality. I like it how we are right now. We have two kids, nine and seven right now. We work good as a couple," he explained.

Equally, Shakira admitted marriage wasn't for her during a joint interview with Piqué on "60 Minutes" in 2020. "For all intents and purposes, you two are married," host Bill Whitaker said, to which Shakira clarified, "We're not married." She continued, "To tell you the truth, marriage scares ... me. I don't want him to see me as the wife. I'd rather him see me as his girlfriend," before adding, "I wanna keep him on his toes. I want him to think that anything's possible depending on behavior."

Shakira explained her stance a little more to Glamour in 2014, telling the outlet that she didn't think marriage would change their relationship, but confessed that if she'd ever walk down the aisle with anyone, it would be with Piqué (via Good Housekeeping).

Parenting struggles

Could parenting struggles have played a part in the demise of Shakira and Gerard Piqué's relationship? Shakira has been vocal about how difficult she's found parenthood, revealing in 2015 that she and Piqué want their two boys to have the most normal upbringing possible — despite their superstar statuses. "It's one of the most difficult things I've done in my life. I've been on the most challenging stages performing in front of really demanding audiences and I've been meeting with world leaders who sometimes make you a little bit apprehensive, but nothing has made me so self-conscious as being a mom," the star confessed during a Fisher Price Happy Factor Panel (via The Independent). Noting she questions daily if she's doing things right, she added, "I just want to improve in the job, the hardest job on earth."

Shakira doubled down on that to Entertainment Tonight Canada in July 2021, revealing she doesn't play her music for their kids. "I can't deny they can't escape the reality that I'm a public person, as well as their dad. But we try to provide as much normalcy as we can, and live really as very simple people," she explained. Of course, that's got to be pretty tough when you're one of the world's most famous singers and your husband is a hugely popular soccer star. Shakira alone is worth $300 million, while Piqué is thought to have a net worth of $80 million (via Celebrity Net Worth). Dinero, indeed!

The social media absence

Shakira and Gerard Piqué haven't exactly been shy when it comes to their relationship on social media and in interviews, though fans noticed that both appeared to be a little absent on one another's accounts in the weeks and months that led up to the announcement of their split.

Piqué hadn't appeared on his girlfriend's Instagram grid since March 2022, in what could now serve as his last ever snap on her account. That time, the star posted a gushing tribute to her man after he played soccer in a whopping 600 matches. The singing superstar really showered her man with affection, writing in the caption in Spanish, "You are the best example of struggle, perseverance and sincerity for our children. These years with you I have realized that you came to this world to change paradigms." She then signed off by writing, now bitter-sweetly, "Because there is not, nor will there be another Gerard Piqué. An exceptional human being."

As for Shakira, she hadn't been spotted on her now former boyfriend's Instagram page in quite a while. Since August 2021, in fact. For what could now be the last time Shakira appears on his grid, he shared a selfie from what appeared to be a loved-up vacation alongside the caption, "Holiday vibes."

Shakira and Gerard Piqué didn't always see eye to eye

Every couple has things that cause a little friction between them. That thing for Shakira and Gerard Piqué? Punctuality. Shakira opened up about the big thing she and her now former partner never saw eye to eye on, just four months before they announced their split. "My poor husband, slash boyfriend, slash baby daddy, whatever you want to call him, he has to wait up for me so long. He's tired of waiting up. Because Colombian time is not the same as Catalonian time, Spanish time," she explained on "Planet Weirdo with Holly H" in February 2022, revealing him waiting for her sometimes caused them to argue. You may have noticed she used the "H" word to describe the soccer star — even though they never married.

But it's not just timekeeping that may have weight heavy on the two. One thing Shakira may have no choice but to be on time for is court, as the star was infamously facing a huge tax evasion lawsuit at the time of their split, which also could potentially have contributed to any potential tension. Shakira has been accused of allegedly not paying €14.5 million euros (that's around $15.5 million) in taxes to the Spanish government, per France 24. The star and her team have denied any wrongdoing, though it was reported in May 2022 the case could come to trial.

Did Gerard Piqué cheat on Shakira?

Okay, so here's where things get pretty messy. Unconfirmed reports have suggested Gerard Piqué may have allegedly been unfaithful to Shakira, with the Spanish outlet El Periodico claiming in June 2022 that she'd supposedly caught her husband with another woman. The site claimed Piqué had allegedly moved out of their family home as a result, and had been partying more amid their split. El Periodico even went on to claim in another story shared shortly after the initial bombshell that the woman Piqué may have allegedly cheated with was a hostess in her 20s.

Neither Shakira nor Piqué have confirmed the allegations though, and other outlets have denied there was any infidelity between the two. One journalist even claimed the now former couple hadn't been too close for a while but were putting on a united front. Jose Antonio Aviles said on the Spanish show "Viva la Vida," "Someone very, very close to Piqué has assured me that there was no infidelity on his part. There is a great surprise at the breakup and the statement that Shakira has sent. Their agreement was, 'You do what you want and I'll do what I want,' but to present themselves as a couple to the public" (via Geo News).

The telling lyrics?

Some fans speculated Shakira could have been referencing her apparent relationship problems in her music, with various fans outlets, including, suggesting "Te Felicito" with Rauw Alejandro could be about her split with Gerard Piqué. The April 2022 track features some pretty telling lyrics, including (via Genius), "To complete you I broke into pieces/They warned me, but I didn't listen/I realized that yours is false/It was the straw that broke the camel's back." She then alludes further to lying, singing, "No tell me you're sorry that seems sincere but I know you well and I know you lie."

Plenty speculated about the lyrics on social media. "Can't believe that the lyrics for @shakira TE FELICITO giving much more deeper meaning and she really did not hide at all about her relationship with [Piqué]," one person tweeted. However, others denied the song could be about him. "What I'm struggling to understand is if Te Felicito is really about Piqué, why did Shakira make those posts on March 13 calling him 'an exceptional human being' and ... acknowledging his 'heroism,'" one Twitter user wrote, suggesting the song would have been finished before Shakira's March 2022 Instagram post. Either way, she's showing him exactly what he's missing in the super sexy music video!

Shakira and Piqué are yet to publicly confirm what went wrong as of this writing, but they're seemingly determined to co-parent together. Mere days after confirming their split, Daily Mail reported they were spotted at their son's baseball game.