Liam Payne And Cheryl Fernandez-Versini Not Posing For ‘Showmance?’ Songstress Hits Back At Bashers

Liam Payne and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini’s romance might be fairly new but it is already being tested by Directioners who have a strong opinion about the couple’s 10-year age gap. It doesn’t help that speculations have risen that Liam and Cheryl’s relationship is nothing but a PR stunt. The songstress recently urged critics to verify their facts.

Liam and Cheryl first teased fans when the One Direction crooner left a kissing emoticon-filled comment on one of the X-Factor judge’s Instagram photos. Payne then changed his account’s default photo to an image of him and Cheryl. He also shared a photo of him with Cheryl that appears to have been snapped while in the back seat of a car.

The two first met in 2008 when Liam auditioned on the X Factor U.K. as a solo artist. He was only 14 at the time when he made it to Simon Cowell’s Barbados house. He was eliminated; but, even at that time, Cheryl remarked that he had a lot of charisma. The British crooner returned in 2010 and wowed the judges with a rendition of “Cry Me a River.” That was the year One Direction was formed.

Liam and Cheryl allegedly took a short escape in Maldives in February of this year. Cheryl split from her French businessman husband Jean Bernard Fernandez-Versini in August last year. In late October last year, Liam also told The Sun that it was over for him and his childhood crush, Sophia Smith.

“I’m absolutely devastated to have split with Sophia. Being on tour all this year and being away from her was so hard. We spent so much time apart. But in order to do right by somebody, sometimes it’s better not to do what your heart wants, but to do what’s better for them.”

“Sophiam” shippers were also heartbroken because the two were already talking about marriage. When they confirmed their split, it was only a matter of time before One Direction was scheduled to go on hiatus. It could have been a perfect opportunity for the couple to make up for lost time. Sugarscape reports that Sophia considered getting back with the Wolverhampton-born singer. However, “she found out that he’d got something going on with Cheryl.”

liam and sophia
[Photo via Liam Payne, Instagram]
The Sun is now reporting that everything about Liam and Cheryl might be merely for show. The X-Factor is struggling with viewership as the last season witnessed the greatest decline in ratings. Cowell allegedly wants to make the most out of Liam and Cheryl’s connection in a bid to revive the show.

Last season, Louis Tomlinson also appeared in Cowell’s judges’ houses. Tommo’s appearance appears to not be enough and the media mogul now wants to enlist Payno to help. According to the Mirror, Liam and Cheryl might serve as judges on the show, and before the start of its next season, the two will already have a staged fallout. Viewers will then be curious as to how they’ll work if there’s a lingering tension between them.

Some also find it difficult to disregard that Cheryl is also under Modest Management. For years, Directioners have blamed the management for its alleged PR doings. Many believe that the boys have been exploited by their management – a reason why they rejoiced when Harry Styles sacked Modest and transferred to CAA’s Jeff Azoff.

Fans are hoping that Liam, Louis, and Niall Horan will follow Styles’ footsteps, too. However, Horan is reportedly establishing a sports management company with Modest which may imply that he’ll continue his ties with them.

[Photos by Kevin Winter, Luca Teuchmann/Getty Images]