Why can't Cheryl ever seem to get it right?
Published 20/10/2016 | 16:00
Cheryl is proof that no matter how beautiful, successful or rich you are, there really is no such thing as a perfect life.
She's one of the most beautiful women in the world with a €22m fortune and a string of number one hits. These days, she's even got a hot younger guy on her arm, but you really can't have it all - especially when you're addicted to making poor decision.
To understand Cheryl 2.0, we need to understand original Cheryl, then known as Cheryl Tweedy.
In the early noughties, she enjoyed significant success with Girls Aloud, but she was still an unlikely choice to be judge on the X Factor in 2008.
Sure, she was beautiful, but she was better known as ‘that girl from Girls Aloud who was arrested for attacking a toilet attendant back in 2003’ instead of her success in the band, or even being footballer Ashley Cole’s glamorous other half.
At that time, the X Factor was the be all and end all of entertainment television - all shows wanted to be like it and all producers wish they'd created it.
By her first season of the show, had left behind Cheryl Tweedy, a middling singer with an assault conviction and seemingly overnight became Cheryl Cole, the impossibly glamorous pop star.
And she played her part to perfection. She cried at the right times, she supported the right acts and most importantly in building her image, she wasn’t afraid to bite back at Simon Cowell.
Their tête-à-tête were the stuff reality tv dreams were made of.
Cheryl relished her new role as Britain’s Sweetheart – after winning her first series of X Factor with Alexandra Burke (and even scoring a guest appearance by Beyonce), climbing Mt Kilmanjaro for Comic Relief and landing a number one with will.i.am thanks to Heartbreaker.
But behind the scenes, her marriage to footballer Ashley Cole was breaking down, or as she put it, "To be honest, I coped in public and crumbled in private."
In 2008, after two years of marriage, the façade was beginning the fade. A hairdresser alleged she slept with Ashley and sold her story to the papers. Cheryl chose to stay with him and work on their marriage, distancing herself from him in the eyes of the public before eventually taking him back.
"It’s funny – those who didn’t understand my actions at the time have now had that happen to them and they get it," she told In Style of her decision to stay.
"A friend of mine told me her husband was having an affair and she said, 'I understand everything that must have been going through your head.'"
In 2010, at just 26, she filed for divorce after a string of women came forward alleging affairs with her husband, including one who sold pictures of him in his underwear that frankly, will never fade from my memory.
But Cheryl was smart about the transaction – she wasn’t going to let someone sully her good name, not after working so hard to rehabilitate it.
She kept Cole’s last name and when the drama was over, she released a number one single Fight For This Love, a less than thinly veiled song based on her marriage to the footballer.
After the marriage breakdown, she was linked with Dancing With The Stars’ Derek Hough and will.i.am, but I never bought into either.
Cheryl was trying to crack the US at the time when DWTS was still on its way to becoming the juggernaut it is now and will.i.am was still riding high on post-Black Eyed Peas fame.
When she landed a much lauded spot on The X Factor USA in 2011 alongside then-mentor Simon Cowell, she seemed ready to win over America’s hearts too.
But then she went and wore one of the most overtly hideous outfits ever to grace our screens – the too-long purple trousers, orange top and hair so big they didn’t even want it in the ‘80s.
Where was the impossibly polished Cheryl we'd fallen for over two years of our Saturday nights?
Eventually, her American dream was over before it even began and she was fired after a few episodes due to contestants being unable to understand her Geordie accent.
During these in-between years, in 2012, she began dating Tre Holloway, an American dancer, for a year before they split due to the strain of long-distance.
Two years later, 2014 she was ready to settle down again. It didn’t matter that she only knew him three months or that there was a language barrier (he spoke French and she spoke English), she was in love and determined to marry again.
So she did.
In front of four guests, Cheryl wed restaurateur John Bernard Fernadez Versini on the beach in Mustique. After much speculation, she confirmed the news by posting a picture of ring worth €335k on Instagram, which she reportedly paid for.
But what did Cheryl take the most offence to?
No one was using her new surname and shockingly referred to her as the name she’d gone by for the previous eight years and not Cheryl Fernandez Versini, as she was now known.
After returning to X Factor in 2014 to much fanfare, she reportedly snapped at a contestant saying, ‘Cole is not my name’. Sinitta echoed those claims, saying: "Do not use the C-word in this building. The four-letter C-word, Cole.”
News to us.
As it turns out, life isn’t a Disney movie and marrying a complete stranger isn’t the best set-up for a happily ever after and within months there were reports of the newlyweds fighting.
She dropped a worrying amount of weight late last year but instead of addressing it head-on, sources close to her said, "She has chosen not to publicly address the situation but rather maintain a dignified silence and get on with things."
Her "not publicly addressing the situation" involved her wearing a seriously small crop top and trousers where her ribs were visibly prominent at an event she knew she would be photographed.
Later, she denied the claims she had an eating disorder, alluding there was more going on behind the scenes contributing to her changing shape.
"No, I'm not anorexic," she told The Mirror last August. "It all started with a girl on Instagram calling us a bag of bones."
It was confirmed last December that she and JB would be divorcing after just 18 months of marriage.
Pretty soon she found love with Liam Payne – one of the most famous men on the planet – who is also 10 years her junior.
FYI, she first met him when he auditioned for the X Factor in 2008 when he was just 14 years old.
By January, they were travelling around the world together and playing the social media game, once again, to perfection.
When rumours about their romance were at their height, they would tease loved-up photos of themselves on Instagram without giving any real insight into their life other than the fact that they clearly liked being talked about.
She began gaining weight and was back to her old, healthier looking self and before you knew it, she was supposedly pregnant.
Four months after first hooking up, the unlikely couple were said to be planning for a family. And for once, it looks like the rumours are actually true.
Cheryl has been sporting what looks like a very defined baby bump these days.
Today, her divorce was finalised at a London court and in papers, she said it was her ex-husband's "unreasonable behaviour" that caused her weight loss, not expanding on what behaviour she was referring to.
And now we wait with baited breath for a possible pregnancy announcement since her divorce is finalised.
For someone claims to hate public attention, she sure knows how to court it.