Former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (nee Tweedy, formerly Cole) is dating One Direction’s Liam Payne.
Fan reactions have been mixed. Cheryl and Liam are adults but there is an age gap. She is 32. He is 22. They first met when he was a minor.
Cheryl has been in relationships since they first met a decade ago. She even got married (and is getting divorced again). But the video below shows they met on the X Factor UK. She was a judge. He was a auditionee. She was about 24 and he was FOURTEEN!
The Sun newspaper was the first to confirm the relationship.
The Sun revealed that Cheryl and Liam began dating in December, after she decided to divorce her husband after 19 months of marriage (Liam is also recently single).
Liam is telling friends that he is “madly in love”. He is telling fans the same on social media. A source claimed “This is the real deal.”
To prove it Liam got a smaller version of Cheryl’s rose tattoo on his hand in January (and another rose tattoo on his elbow).
A source revealed: “Cheryl and Liam are in a relationship. It was unexpected but they’ve both made each other incredibly happy”.
The Sun claimed they met when she was 27 and he was 17. But, again, as the video shows, it was three years prior.
The source explains “Cheryl has obviously known Liam for many years… They’ve always got on well because they are both northern and share many of the same interests. But there was never anything romantic between them in the past.”
How did the relationship start? A source recalls, “Their relationship developed very quickly in December after the X Factor final where One Direction gave their final performance before starting their hiatus.”
Was there overlap with Cheryl’s husband and her new boyfriend?
“Cheryl and [her estranged husband’s] marriage was over by the time he celebrated his 35th birthday without her at the end of August. It was obvious she had a very difficult few months and was deeply unhappy for some time”, insisted the source.
They’re both single now. “But it’s not like she’s coming straight out of her marriage and into another relationship,” said the source. “She had a number of months where she was officially married but it was actually already over with [Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini] for a number of months by that point.”
How does Cheryl feel dating Liam? “Cheryl is like a different person. She’s carefree and happy again. There’s a lot less stress in her life.”
A day later, PEOPLE Magazine sources confirmed the same.
The relationship has “been going on for a while,” the source told PEOPLE. “Both are very similar and happy.”