Shakira and her longtime boyfriend, Antonio de la Rua, have separated after nearly 11 years together. The news was announced Monday (Jan. 10) in a letter on the Colombian pop star's official website and addressed from both her and de la Rua.
"Since August 2010, we made a mutual decision to take time apart from our romantic relationship," the letter reads. "Throughout this time we have continued to work together hand in hand, have remained close and have kept the details absolutely private until now.
"We view this period of separation as temporary and as a time of individual growth as we continue to be partners in our business and professional lives," they continue, adding that de la Rua will continue to "oversee and conduct" Shakira's business matters." A source tells AP that the couple is together in Paris now.
Shakira and de la Rua, who is an investment banker and the son of the former president of Argentina Fernando de la Rua, began dating in 2000. In late 2009, the singer told Rolling Stone that she was ready to settle down. "My body feels like it is asking to reproduce, to have a huge belly and carry babies," she said. "My boyfriend is six feet tall, and sometimes I feel like I'm his keychain, a small thing."
In their letter, Shakira and de la Rua say that in their time as a couple, they "have loved each other deeply, taken care of each other and stood by one another. They have been the most wonderful years of our lives, and thanks to that love and the respect that we share for one another we have been an exceptional couple and partners."