Cheryl ‘needs to sort out own issues’ after Liam Payne split

It took just one flash of her smile on The X Factor to transform Cheryl Tweedy into the nation’s sweetheart. But while her Geordie charm has won the hearts of fans, there’s one thing she has been forced to fight for time and time again – her own chance of love.

Now the Girls Aloud star, who turned 35 on Saturday, is nursing heartbreak again after announcing her two-year relationship with “toyboy” pop star Liam Payne, 24, is over.

Yet as Cheryl was today holed up at her £5million Surrey mansion, some friends asked how she could have ended up broken-hearted yet again?

The relationship was just the latest to hit the rocks in relatively short order, leading one expert to speculate Cheryl could be addicted to the “honeymoon” phase of love which doesn’t last.

While a close friend of one ex today told The Mirror they believe Cheryl has to “sort out her own issues” before she can really find happiness.

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Cheryl and Liam split

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“From the outside, Cheryl makes sure it looks perfect but from the inside things aren’t perfect at all. There’s clearly something wrong happening and she should deal with her own issues.”

The mum of one – while so strong in so many ways – has undoubtedly had a history of falling for the wrong man.

It was just two years after landing her spot in Girls Aloud, thanks to 2002’s Popstars: the Rivals, that she fell for footballer Ashley Cole.

The pair were touted as the new Posh and Becks, with Cheryl saying “I absolutely loved being called Ashley’s wife”. But in 2008, just two years after their extravagant wedding, Cheryl’s dream marriage faced its first nightmare as Ashley was accused of cheating on her.


Despite later admitting she felt “sadness, physical pain, sickness and fury”, she publicly gave him another chance –and in the process got her first number one with the anthem Fight For This Love, which went on to sell a million.

But when she faced another onslaught of claims in 2010, not even a gold disc healed the hurt.

She finally decided she’d had enough and jetted to LA to film her video for Parachutes, which featured future boyfriend, US Dancing With the Stars hunk Derek Hough.

Their fling could never survive the transatlantic distance, while her next love, backing dancer Tre Holloway lasted 14 months until 2013.


She seemed smitten, once laughing about kids: “I always say I wanted to have a big family, because I’m from one.”

But Tre had never experienced her level of fame and, after tweeting about his own battles with “negativity”, couldn’t cope and backed away.

Cheryl then shocked the world by marrying French restauranteur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, 37, in July 2014, three months after meeting him in Cannes. Just like her hit, Cheryl Can’t Speak French. But the language barrier was not the biggest hurdle.

It was claimed the pair fought after just five months. They split after 18.

Jean-Bernard claimed he too found fame hard, saying: “I was thrust into this mad world. I didn’t like it.”

Then came Liam. They first met when he auditioned for The X Factor aged just 14 – two years before he was picked to be in One Direction.

By the time they fell for each other in 2016, Liam had already courted controversy by going off the rails, admitting a “pretty bad” drinking problem and posting a picture of himself balancing on a high-rise ledge.

Even so, the match seemed to work and their one-year-old baby Bear seemed to be the happy ending fans wanted.

But while Liam was a doting dad, there would be flashes of immaturity.

In May he interrupted her on the loo while on a live call to Radio 1, laughing: “Was it a number one or a number two?”

He even talked publicly of their “struggles” as Cheryl worked hard to put on a brave face. So why did Cheryl expect any of these to work?

As Cheryl tonight dismissed claims that her mum Joan was to blame for the latest breakdown, relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr suggested the singer’s unlucky choices may instead have been influenced by her parents’ divorce when she was at the highly impressionable age of just 11.

“First the grown-up child can seek out similarly difficult relationships because they subconsciously want to put right what went wrong with their parents’ relationship,” Dr Spurr said.

“So they will subconsciously pick an unsuitable partner. Then when something does go wrong in a relationship they will go to one of two extremes.

“Either they will do anything to smooth over conflict, like Cheryl did with Ashley at first. Or they can dump a relationship very quickly.”

Dr Spurr also believes children in Cheryl’s position can almost become addicted to the honeymoon stage of love, which could explain why so many since Ashley lasted less than two years.

But she also believes another love could have influenced her.

Cheryl was just 15 when she started dating her first “intimate” boyfriend, a man from her Newcastle estate called Dave.

He was 24, meaning they had to date in secret, but after a year, teenager Cheryl discovered he had cheated on her with one of her pals.

She was so distraught she was diagnosed as clinically depressed and started having panic attacks. Worryingly, her weight plummeted to less than six stone.

So could this have scarred Cheryl?

Dr Spurr believes so, adding: “That might have set up a pattern of low expectations – once again she’s subconsciously looking for
relationships that are difficult so she can put them right.

“This can also be why she loves the honeymoon phase. Some people love the passion phase because it medicates out the pain of previous traumatic relationships.

“It’s almost like self-medicating and they go from the honeymoon phase of one relationship to another.”

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