But fans needn’t worry: The 24-year-old was just joking as he talked to Vodafone’s Kat Shoob on Friday, August 24. “No, I’m all right, you know?” he said, turning sincere. “It’s been OK. Obviously, there’s a lot of stuff I’ve still got to sort out with my life, but I’m enjoying it.”
Payne did admit, however, that he has never had to deal with such a public breakup. “That bit of it is difficult,” he said. “You break up, and then it was like a couple of days or a couple of weeks before we actually put the announcement out, and that’s the bit when it really hits home, I guess. At the same point, it’s like breaking up twice. You already did this once, and now I’m having to go through all of that again because I have to tell people I don’t even really know.”
And the One Direction alum reminded fans that there are real emotions at play behind celebrity breakups: “Sometimes people need to remember, behind all those statements and things, there are actually people who are going through the same sort of stuff that you go through. Whether they’re famous, rich — or whatever they are — it doesn’t really matter.”
Payne and his 35-year-old ex — with whom he welcomed a son, Bear, in March 2017 — revealed the end to their two-year relationship on July 1. “Cheryl and I are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways,” he tweeted at the time. “It’s been a tough decision for us to make. We still have so much love for each other as a family. Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together.”
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