The “Call My Name” singer, 34, addressed the reports at the official opening of The Prince’s Trust Cheryl’s Trust Centre in Newcastle Upton Tyne, England, on Tuesday, February 20. “Do I find it frustrating? No, it doesn’t bother me,” Cole told BBC, noting that her top priority at the moment was launching a successful event for her charity campaign. “My focus is only on this, it’s taken me seven years to get here and none of that matters. This is the most important part for me.”
Cole’s remarks serve as a response to reports by British outlets over the weekend claiming that she and the “Strip That Down” songster, 24, broke up because Payne wanted to get married but Cole wasn’t ready to settle down.
However, the former One Direction crooner has been vocal about not wanting to rush down the aisle with Cole, with whom he shares 11-month-old son Bear. “I see marriage as more of a religious thing and I’m not really a religious person, so I know it’s not really in the cards for me at the moment,” Payne said during his visit to the Bizarre Life with Dan Wootton podcast in May 2017. “So no, not yet, unfortunately. We have a baby together. Our love for each other can’t be more serious, so it is what it is I guess.”
Payne raved about his romance with Cole while speaking to Rollacoaster magazine in March 2017. “This is the thing: In a non-cliché way, it’s weird waking up every day and living out your dream. You wake up in the modt beautiful places. Obviously I have the most beautiful girlfriend in the whole world and she’s absolutely amazing,” he gushed at the time.
The couple met in 2008 when 14-year-old Payne auditioned for The X Factor while Cole was a judge on the U.K. talent show. She was married to British football player Ashley Cole at the time and later wed French restauranteur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini. The “Bedroom Floor” singer and the television personality got together in 2016 after Cole split from Fernandez-Versini.
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