When Cheryl Cole appeared on Brit reality show The X-Factor last week, without her Dhs1million wedding ring, it sparked speculation that her latest row with hubby Ashley Cole had rendered their rocky relationship unsalvageable. Now insiders are spilling just how fragile the shaky union really is, with some pals even predicting a split within weeks. Ahlan! charts the five factors ripping the troubled couple apart...
Ashley’s career Jealousy
Despite Cheryl dismissing her decision not to wear her wedding ring on The X-Factor last weekend, saying it just “didn’t go with my outfits,” insiders say in reality, not wearing her ring was a show of defiance to Ashley – who has refused to support her career.
Ashley left Cheryl in tears earlier this month when he refused to attend a lavish bash she’d organised to celebrate the success of her debut solo single, ironically titled Fight For This Love.
A distraught Cheryl was then forced to cancel the party at the very last minute.
“The Cole household is not a happy one at the moment,” a friend revealed. “Ashley has a touch of the green-eyed monster and doesn’t like being in Cheryl’s shadow. There’s a lot of tension between them because Cheryl is busier and busier and she is now eclipsing Ashley’s success.” Adding, “He’s acting like a spoilt child because she’s getting all the attention.”
The news comes amid reports Cheryl and Ashley had another furious public bust-up on a night out in London last week, with Cheryl spotted tearing into her husband, outside the Mayfair Hotel.
A pal has since hinted that Cheryl’s grown sick of massaging her husband’s ego, every time she achieves something, saying, “Supporting Cheryl doesn’t sit well with Ashley’s need to be alpha male.”
Haunted by the past
Pals say the pair never fully recovered from the cheat allegations which plagued Ashley last year. Reports that the Chelsea and England player cheated with mother-of-one hairdresser Aimee Watson last year were said to have devastated Cheryl. And, while the couple has tried hard to paper over the cracks, pals say they’ve never got over it. Especially after two more women came forward claiming they’d hooked up with the footie star.
“They still have the occasional moment of fun but they both know, particularly Cheryl, that this isn’t going to be forever,” said a source.
According to insiders, the main sticking point is that Cheryl feels she can no longer trust Ashley, telling pals that she doesn’t know what he might get up to the moment her back is turned.
And Ashley let her down again when he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly outside a London nightclub, while she was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for the charity Comic Relief.
Since she’s been filming the latest series of The X-Factor, Cheryl’s been spending more time with Simon Cowell – who’s said to be quite vocal in his disapproval of Ashley. Having helped Cheryl through her heartache when Ashley was first accused of cheating, Simon is reportedly keen to show Cheryl she is strong enough to stand on her own two feet should the worst happen.
“Just being around Simon – and his ego – has taught me quite a lot,” said Cheryl. “He’s actually made me a lot more confident and a lot more comfortable. The fact that he respects me means a great deal.”
The Victoria factor
Despite Ashley worming his way back into Cheryl’s good books immediately after his cheat scandal – by lavishing her with expensive gifts – he’s not trying as hard anymore, and Cheryl’s reportedly been negatively comparing her relationship to that of her fellow WAG Victoria Beckham.
Having been through a similar alleged infidelity scandal herself, VB was said to have been a great support to Cheryl when rumours Ashley had strayed first emerged.
“Victoria has strong views on this situation, but feels she’s in a good position to help Cheryl through it,” a source said at the time. “She told her she has to be honest with herself and if she believes she can save the marriage to do everything to make that happen.”
But after seeing how supportive David has been of Victoria’s career ever since – even sacrificing his own career to move to LA with her – Ashley’s refusal to support her blooming career has set alarm bells ringing for Cheryl.
Her American dream
Cheryl is keen to build on her recent chart success, and Simon Cowell is encouraging her to crack the American market. Provided he can get her a visa – which could be a problem due to her 2003 conviction for assaulting a female nightclub attendant – Simon plans to launch his protégé stateside as early as next year.
But, with Ashley’s football career keeping him in England, insiders are predicting the star couple won’t be able to survive the distance.