Cheryl wants to 'have her say' about Liam Payne age-gap controversy
Cheryl dated Liam Payne for two years and they welcomed a baby boy
Cheryl reportedly wants to address backlash over her relationship with One Direction's Liam Payne. The pair's 10-year age gap has been dragged into the Phillip Schofield scandal after the broadcaster admitted to having an affair with a younger colleague.
Cheryl met Liam Payne when he auditioned for the X Factor at the age of 14, but the pair didn't start dating until 2016. The Girls Aloud singer was married to footballer Ashley Cole when she first met Payne.
This was Liam Payne when he first auditioned for X Factor.. 14 years old... a child. Cheryl Cole was a judge of course. A position of power.
They later got together and had a child.
Why was she not treated with the same contempt and scrutiny as #Schofield ?
Anyone know? pic.twitter.com/TYojre4Ocg
— ᒍEᖇ ᗪI᙭Oᑎ 🎙🎤 (@jezzadixon) June 3, 2023
They dated for almost two years and also welcomed a son together, named Bear, but eventually went their separate ways in 2018.
Both singers were adults when they started dating, but many people have been questioning their relationship following the Schofield scandal. Some claimed there are double standards in the industry because Cheryl met Liam Payne when he was 14 but didn't face the same level of backlash as Schofield.
The singer has told her friends she wants to "have her say" because she is worried this could blow up.
A source told Heat: "Cheryl fears this is going to blow it all up for her because no one wants to be associated with anything like that. She’d love nothing more than to have her say, but she knows it never comes out that way."
They continued: "For Cheryl, the 14-year-old thing is so twisted and infuriating. She was married at the time, and there was absolutely no link with Liam there at all."
People were quick to defend the pair and stressed that they were not romantically involved until 2016.
Liam Payne has not yet addressed the backlash.