5 Things You Don't Know About Cheryl Cole

Entertainment May. 5, 2011 AT 11:47AM
5 Things You Don't Know About Cheryl Cole Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage

So just who is Cheryl Cole, the British singer who'll sit beside Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid at the judges' table on The X Factor this fall? Us Weekly uncovers some need-to-know info about the 27-year-old pop star.

1. She got her start on reality TV. In 2002, Cole was one of five girls selected to join the group Girls Aloud on ITV's Popstars: The Rivals. Joined by bandmates Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh and Sarah Harding, the group went on to achieve massive European success, spawning five studio albums and 20 consecutive Top 10 singles. Since then, Cole has released two solo albums, 3 Words and Messy Little Raindrops.

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2. She's got plenty of X Factor experience. In June 2008, it was announced that Cole would replace Sharon Osbourne as a judge on The X Factor during its fifth season. Cole continued to mentor contestants for two more seasons, appearing alongside judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Dannii Mingoue.

3. She's a divorcee. Citing "unreasonable behavior," Cole filed for divorce from her husband of nearly four years, soccer player Ashley Cole, at London's High Court on May 26, 2010. Though rumors circulated that he had cheated on her with multiple women, the Girls Aloud singer has yet to confirm such reports.

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4. She had a bad temper. On January 11, 2003, Cole was involved in an altercation with a toilet attendant, Sophie Amogbokpa, at Drink nightclub in Guildford, Surrey. She was charged with racially aggravated assault for allegedly calling Amogbokpa a "Caribbean jigaboo" and a "black bitch" and striking her. During her trial, the singer claimed she acted in self-defense and denied using any racially abusive language. The jury found her guilty of physical assault, but cleared her of racially aggravated assault. Cole was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and ordered to pay Amogbokpa £500 in compensation, in addition to £3,000 in prosecution fees.

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5. She's an author. On September 30, 2010, Cole released her first autobiography, Through My Eyes. "Sometimes I find things happen so quickly it's possible to forget all those personal moments that make up the amazing experiences," she told the BBC. "This book is filled with pictures that capture those moments, my memories and the people I'm closest to."

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