A lot of people who’ve had a year like Shakira has might be locked in their room in a cocoon of sadness on day fifty-leven of unwashed hair with no recollection of when their last dalliance with the sunlight was. But Shakira–fresh out of her relationship with longtime partner and father of her two children, Gerard Piqué, and on the edge of a fight with the Spanish government over taxes she allegedly owes–instead opted to rally (I’m sure a Xena Warrior Princess-style yodel happened somewhere) and (kind of) answer tough questions in an interview for the October digital issue of ELLE.
On top of the end of her relationship and maybe having to pony up gobs of tax money, Shakira also revealed that in the midst of her shitstorm, her dad, who was visiting to help support her during her difficult time, fell and hit his head which required brain surgery and then fell again during recovery, breaking a lot of bones in his face. According to Shakira, her music was a “noble” gift for him.
So it’s been really hard, you know, a hard year for him. But it’s a testament to his strength and his resilience. He still dances when he listens to music. He tries to sing along. And I’ve learned that to seniors, the best gift that you can give them is not only your presence and your company, but also music. When you think about the power that music has, it makes me realize, yeah, my job might not be as heroic as the job of a doctor or a nurse or in the middle of war, but it somehow has a very noble aspect, which is exactly that: to connect people to life.
So if you’ve been disconnected from life or broke your face and the only prescription is more Shakira warblin’, Shakira’s recent misfortunes are your gain; she says that the “darkest moment of her life” she’s currently experiencing inspired her to write music and she has a new album coming out for the first time in five years.
Yeah, I have a full album’s worth of music that I’m so excited about…I end up with new music because I feel creative right now, and I feel that is an incredible outlet for me to make sense of things…We all go through stuff in life. But in my case, I think that writing music is like going to the shrink, only cheaper [laughs]…There have been days when I had to pick up the pieces of me from the floor. And the only way to do that, to actually do that, has been through music.
Frugality is probably smart for Shakira right now since she may end up paying Spain a ton of Euros. The interviewer asked her why she decided to fight the charges rather than settle. She says she’s fully paid up and there’s no merit to Spain’s claims that she’s committed tax fraud and alleges that Spain’s notoriously tax-grabby and is out to pry fat stacks of cash from the hands of her and other celebrities, so she’s fighting it out of principle.
[Sighs] 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.
…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…The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It’s clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what… But I’m confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor…It’s a matter of principle.
Shakira gave much muddier answers about what happened between her and Gerard; I would assume because she doesn’t have the bandwidth for one more lawsuit. So when asked if it was true that rumored fuckboy Gerard’s exit from their relationship and entrance into another one was a shock to her, she said that those details were “too private to share,” but did reveal that she feels that she put her career on the back burner once they had their kids, Milan (9) and Sasha (7) to allow Gerard’s career to flourish.
I can only say that I put everything I had into this relationship and my family. Before my kids started school, I had a really nomadic life…Once Milan started school, at the end of 2014, I knew that my constant travel and nomadic existence had to be put on the back burner and my career had to be put in second gear…As a soccer player, he wanted to play football and to win titles and I had to support him. I mean, one of the two of us had to make a sacrifice, right?… 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 also touched on her friends/colleagues, Chris Martin and Will.i.am offering support, her and Gerard’s custody battle, and how the paparazzi circus her recent series of troubles have created make it impossible to do normal things with her kids like go for ice cream or a walk in the park. With the luck she’s had lately, she may want to avoid parks. The wild boars are hungry this time of year and they’re still out for revenge after being defeated by her last September.
And here’s more of Shakira in the digital issue of ELLE:
Pic: ELLE via Instagram