Cheryl’s heartbreak over new Liam Payne rumours


by Daisy McLure |
Updated on

As Liam Payne's night out with Rita Ora sparks gossip about the pair once more, Cheryl refuses to let the online speculation embarrass her

Tongues were wagging over the nature of their relationship yet again last week as Rita Ora and Liam Payne enjoyed dinner together at private members club Annabel’s on a night out in London.

Fans speculated online about Rita, 28, and Liam, 25, with one posting, “Oh Liam, you dirty dog,” while another wrote, “I wonder if something is going on between them, they did seem to have chemistry when they duetted together.”

Others, meanwhile, wrote that they were "such a fine couple" and that they were "looking good together."

Liam Payne and Rita Ora

And pals say the renewed speculation has poured fresh humiliation on Liam's ex Cheryl - with whom he shares son Bear, two - especially as there had been rumours over his chemistry with Rita during multiple performances together while he was still in a relationship with the former Girls Aloud star.

A source says, “Cheryl's been a little uneasy over Liam and Rita’s friendship in the past, it's never nice to hear false claims about your boyfriend and other women."

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Cheryl Liam Brits 2018

"The fact that they’re still very much in each other’s lives despite not working together anymore has been a bit awkward for her. It reminds her of the heartbrreaking time when she was with Liam and everyone was talking about him and Rita.

"Seeing pictures of them having a cosy dinner together has left her feeling hurt as she knows people will talk. It's never nice to have your ex linked to someone you know. He’s assured her that he’s just friends with Rita but it's just bringing up too many bad memories.

Cheryl first got to know Rita when they were judges on the TheX Factor in 2015, but the pairing was short-lived as they both quit the show once it ended.

It had previously been reported that there was animosity between them when Rita claimed she had been first offered Cheryl’s 2012 hit Call My Name first but turned it down, something producer Calvin Harris denied ever happened.

Rita Ora Cheryl Simon Cowell X Factor

There then appeared to be tension when Cheryl and Liam seemed strained at the 2018 Brit Awards amid growing reports that they were heading for a split (they parted five months later), and she had to watch Liam perform a steamy routine with Rita for their song, For You from the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack which saw Rita strip to her underwear.

Repeated reports of chemistry between the pair surfaced and as Closer revealed at the time, Cheryl felt hurt even though she knew nothing happened between Liam and Rita.

To make matters worse, Liam also missed Bear’s birthday in March this year, as he had to jet out to perform alongside Rita in Dubai, reportedly leaving Cheryl feeling frustrated. It was the second time he had missed Bear's birthday.

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Closer magazine issue 853

There was more bad news for Cheryl last week as it was revealed that her profits have dropped for the fourth year in a row as she's struggled to continue her musical successes. Her last single, Love Made Me Do It, failed to make the top 10 in November.

Meanwhile, Rita has achieved global fame and success in America – a dream Cheryl had which ended after her infamous sacking from the U Sversion of The X Factor in 2014.

The source explains, “There’s always competition between pop divas, and Cheryl can’t help but look at Rita’s career and wish that she could have had the same opportunities and success in the States. That’s why she finds it hard hearing all these rumours about her and Liam and seeing them on nights out together, it’s a bit of a slap in the face. Anyone would find that tough, she’s only human.”

Read even more about Cheryl, Rita and Liam in this week's Closer - out now.

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