POP guru Louis Walsh is "surprised" at comments made by Cheryl Cole saying he had "zero involvement" in her early career.
The Girls Aloud babe has taken a swipe at her old X Factor pal claiming he was only interested in picking up the cheques.
"We never had management. Louis claimed to be our manager but he never did it," she said.
"We didn't talk to him or anything like that. He just took a cheque. Literally, we didn't have management."
However, a source close to Louis has said he's taken aback by her claims -- but she's entitled to her opinion.
"That was all a long time ago and things were much more different back then. Cheryl herself has admitted that his attitude towards them helped the group polish up their image," he said.
"They've actually grown much closer over the years.
"After all, he was the one who suggested she return to the X Factor earlier this year and he even dressed up as Cheryl as part of a fancy dress feature for Heat magazine."
Cheryl was put together with her bandmates Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle and Sarah Harding after winning ITV1 show Pop Stars: The Rivals.
Louis was one of the judges but despite working with them for four years, she claimed that he was never hands-on with them.
"I talk to him because now I get that business is business, and that's how he runs his (business). But he never chose a hit. Who chose them? Us," she said.
She did admit, however, that Mr Walsh's admonish-ment over the band's weight did lead them to polishing up their image. "Louis Walsh had come out publicly and said, 'They're all fat. They all need to lose weight'.
"And the record label sent us all to have training... but we were just thinking they were doing us a favour at the time. We were so deluded," she said.
Mr Walsh refused to comment on the claims by Cheryl .
In the past, though, he has admitted that he wasn't that committed to the group.
He said: "I was putting all my energy into managing Westlife, and I found it easier to deal with boy bands.
"Girls want to talk about hair, clothes, make-up, the things that are important for their look on stage.
For me, life was too short for that."