Fans of One Direction star Liam Payne are used to hearing rumors about the 23-year-old star. All too often fans are exposed to stories about Payne and his bandmates that seem to have only a passing acquaintance with the truth. For around two years, Liam was linked with Sophia Smith but many of Payne's fans were highly suspicious of that relationship. Any time Liam and Sophia were seen together there seemed to be a member of One Direction's management team lurking in the background.
Just before the end of One Direction's last tour, Liam seemed to be struggling with his health and, for the first time ever, One Direction cancelled a show because Payne was unable to perform. It later emerged that Liam's relationship with Smith was over. It was widely reported that Payne was devastated.
Back in February of this year, news emerged that Payne had been dating Cheryl Fernandez-Versini since December. Many fans were skeptical about the news of Liam's new romance. Cheryl was married, a decade Payne's senior and many fans noted that Cheryl had just signed with the same management team as One Direction. Despite the suspicions of some fans Liam and Cheryl seem to have been inseparable during the course of 2016.
For some months now, rumors have been circulating that Payne and Cheryl were ready to settle down and that they wanted to start a family. If pictures published by the Sun are anything to go by, it looks like Liam may be set for fatherhood more quickly that anyone suspected. The pictures show Cheryl in a long black dress sporting what looks like the baby bump of a woman between five and six months pregnant.This wasn't the first time that the Sun has speculated on Cheryl's "baby bump." Earlier this month they published pictures that also seemed to show that Cheryl is pregnant. Neither Liam or Cheryl have made any comment about Cheryl's rumored pregnancy so One Direction fans will doubtless be watching closely to see how this story develops.
Of course if Cheryl is pregnant with Liam's baby then, inevitably, claims will emerge that Payne is to marry. Indeed, the Mirror has already made this claim. They report that friends have claimed that Cheryl and Liam will marry before the baby arrives.
"Cheryl knows Liam wants to propose and now he's free too. She's a traditional girl and wants to marry before they have a baby together."It seems that the last obstacle in the way of Liam and Cheryl marrying was removed earlier this week. The Daily Mail reports that Cheryl was granted a divorce from her husband, Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, at the Central Family Court in London. Cheryl cited Jean-Bernard's "unreasonable behaviour" and blamed him for causing her "stress and weight-loss." So now Cheryl is free to remarry, and fans will be watching Payne very closely to see what happens next.Payne would do very well to sit down for a very long talk with bandmate Louis Tomlinson. The furor around Tomlinson's journey to fatherhood can only be described as a circus. Tomlinson refused to talk about Briana Jungwirth's pregnancy, and her family acted in such an odd way that many fans are still convinced that the entire thing was some sort of sick media stunt.
It is, of course, understandable that Payne and Cheryl want to keep their private affairs private. When you are one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, privacy comes at a premium. No one would deny that Payne and Cheryl have every right to try to avoid bringing a child into the world in the full glare of media speculation. As Tomlinson will tell Payne, the problem is that silence leads to speculation and conspiracy theories.
Payne and his bandmates doubtless pay One Direction's management and PR companies a lot of money to look after their interests. A simple statement from Liam and Cheryl either confirming or denying her pregnancy would put to bed most of the speculation. A request for privacy would be understood and respected by the overwhelming majority of Liam and Cheryl's fans.
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