Shakira confirms split with soccer star Piqué

MADRID (AP) – Colombian pop star Shakira and her partner, Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué, are splitting up. Shakira’s public relations firm said Saturday in a statement quoting the pair that “we regret to confirm that we are separating. For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we ask that you respect our privacy. Thank you for your understanding."

The 45-year-old Shakira met the Barcelona defender while she was promoting her 2010 World Cup anthem “Waka Waka – Time for Africa.” The couple have two children.

Rumors of the demise of the couple’s 11-year relationship had gripped Spanish media in recent days. They were fueled by media reports that the 35-year-old Piqué had left the family’s home in Barcelona and was living by himself in the city.