One Direction star Liam Payne is widely rumored to be headed for fatherhood. Payne has been dating Cheryl Fernandez-Versini for around 12 months, and rumors have been circulating, for the past couple of months, suggesting that Cheryl is carrying Liam’s baby. If Cheryl and Liam are having a baby, then Payne is, of course, entitled to privacy, but when you are a member of the world’s biggest boyband, privacy is a rare and precious commodity.
When your relationship is with a high-profile former pop and reality TV star, privacy is even harder to find. With countless millions of fans across the world, Payne is the subject of incessant internet chatter but it’s the national press, rather than fandom chatter, fueling the Cheryl pregnancy rumors. As is often the case with stories about Payne or One Direction, the claims seem to have emerged from UK tabloid The Sun.
It was The Sun that broke the news that Liam’s bandmate, Louis Tomlinson was to become a dad and they are again reporting that Payne is to become a father. They report that Liam has posted a cryptic message on his Instagram account that has fueled further speculation about Cheryl’s pregnancy.
Payne’s post shows a road sign, the finger posts bearing the legend “Liam Lane, private” and it is accompanied by a caption reading “stay in your lane.” It is assumed that Payne is asking for his privacy to be respected. Of course, Liam’s cryptic post has merely fueled further speculation.
It is somewhat bizarre that neither Payne or Cheryl have made any comment to directly address the rumors. Many One Direction fans are adamant that Liam and his bandmates are effectively muzzled by the band’s management. It is extremely rare for any member of One Direction to openly discuss their personal lives. Fans believe that management keeps Payne and his mates quiet to avoid them saying anything that might damage the One direction brand. The Sony email leak, and revelations from former member Zayn Malik, hint at just how closely Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan are managed. Each member has a role to play, a role directly related to the “characters” that go to make up a successful boyband.
As a result, it is no surprise to find Liam maintaining a silence about whether or not he is to become a dad. The problem, as Payne is already finding, is that silence only leads to speculation and rumor. The sad thing is that Liam saw his buddy, Louis Tomlinson, go through all of this last year. Tomlinson chose to say nothing about baby mama Briana Jungwirth or her pregnancy. As a result, many fans believed that Louis had been forced into a sick publicity stunt. Whatever the truth of Tomlinson’s story, Liam Payne must be aware of the pain Louis went through.
Sad as it may be, it looks as though Liam is about to repeat history. At the same time that some outlets are focussing on whether or not Liam and Cheryl are headed for parenthood, others are claiming that Payne and Cheryl are headed in different directions. Celebs Now are reporting that Liam wants to move to L.A. while Cheryl wants to stay in the UK to be near her mom.
“Cheryl knows that, if she does get her own way she’ll face lengthy periods apart from Liam, which is the last thing she wants, but there’s no way she could leave her family and friends behind permanently.”
Interestingly, the Daily Mirror points out that by keeping quiet about her rumored pregnancy, Cheryl risks angering Liam’s fans. They claim that Cheryl’s former bandmate, Kimberley Walsh, has told her to end the speculation because she is “worried that fans may start to lash out at Cheryl if she doesn’t come clean.”
Liam and Cheryl may think that they are in a “no-win” situation, desperate for privacy, yet knowing that silence will fuel rumor. The simple fact is that we are all taught as children that “honesty is the best policy.” Liam Payne and Cheryl would do well to remember that simple lesson. Liam should consider what happened to Louis and act now to close down speculation before it becomes embedded in fans psyche.
[Featured Image by Francois Mori/AP Images]