Cheryl Cole

Cheryl Ann Cole (born 30 June 1983) is an English singer, songwriter, dancer, and model.

Rising to fame in late 2002, Cole was selected to become a member of girl group Girls Aloud on ITV's reality television programme Popstars The Rivals. With the group, Cole has marked much success by achieving twenty consecutive top ten singles (including four number ones) in the UK; five studio albums which have all been certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), two of which went to number one in the UK; and accumulating a total of five BRIT Award nominations from 2005 to 2010. Since Girls Aloud have pursued separate careers, she has released two consecutive number one albums in the UK: 3 Words and Messy Little Raindrops; scoring two number one singles in the UK ("Fight for This Love" and "Promise This").

Cole became a judge on the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2008. Cole has become a recognised and photographed style icon; referred to as a fashionista by the press. Her picture has been on the covers of British Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar, while also becoming the new face of cosmetic company L'Oréal. Cole was married to England footballer Ashley Cole from July 2006 until she divorced him in September 2010.

On 11 January 2003, Cole was involved in an altercation with a nightclub toilet attendant, Sophie Amogbokpa, at "The Drink" nightclub in Guildford, Surrey. Cole was subsequently charged with racially aggravated assault (she had allegedly called Amogbokpa a "Caribbean jigaboo" and a "black bitch") and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. During her trial, Cole claimed she acted in self-defence (claiming she had been punched first) and denied using racially abusive language. The jury found her guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but cleared her of racially aggravated assault. The judge sentenced her to 120 hours of community service and ordered her to pay her victim £500 in compensation, as well as £3,000 prosecution costs.

Cole began dating England and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole in 2004, announcing their engagement after he proposed in Dubai in June 2005. The couple were married at a ceremony at Barnet, North West London on 15 July 2006. They signed an exclusive deal with OK!, reportedly worth £1 million, regarding the rights of the photographs. In January 2008, a hairdresser named Aimee Walton alleged in a kiss-and-tell interview with The Sun  that she had engaged in drunken extramarital sex with Ashley Cole. Subsequently, glamour model Brooke Healy claimed that she had spent the night and had sexual relations with Ashley Cole in December 2006. Promotion for Girls Aloud's "Can't Speak French" was put on hold, and Cole also stopped wearing her wedding ring. The couple, however, reconciled. Following tabloid reports of marital problems in November 2009, Cole posted a picture with her wedding ring in plain sight on Twitter, with the message "3 words. Diamonds Are Forever." In early February 2010, news broke that her husband had cheated on her with five more women. On 23 February, Cole announced she was separating from her husband and asked the media to respect their privacy. On 26 May 2010, Cole filed for divorce at London's High Court citing "unreasonable behaviour" of estranged husband Ashley as the reason for their break-up. Later that day Cole's PR company confirmed the divorce, posting a message on social networking site Twitter stating: "We can confirm the divorce. We have no further comment." She was granted a decree nisi on 3 September, effectively ending the couple's four year marriage. She has continued to use the surname Cole, but during an X Factor audition at ExCeL London on 22 June 2010, Simon Cowell introduced her as "Cheryl Tweedy". A spokesperson for the singer then said that no decision on her name has yet been made. In October of that year, Cole stated in an interview with The Guardian that she would continue to use her married name, saying that changing it back would make her seem "ashamed" of her marriage.

Cole was referenced in Lily Allen's "Cheryl Tweedy", a b-side to her 2006 debut single "Smile". Cole took the song as a compliment to her, although Allen later pointed out that it had been tongue-in-cheek. Allen has since retracted her comments.

In 2009, Cole announced her support for the Labour Party in 2010's general election, referring to the Tory leader David Cameron as "slippery". She went on to say, "we've always been Labour in our family, it just feels wrong not to be".

On 3 July 2010, Cole was admitted to hospital with suspected acute malaria. This was shortly after a visit to Tanzania, where it is believed she may have contracted the disease. During an X Factor photoshoot in Cardiff, Cole has said that she noticed her lips were blue and has said "I thought, 'You're getting the flu'. Not for one second did malaria cross my mind." She has said that during the auditions she asked to lie down and this was when she collapsed, was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with malaria. Her collapse was televised and she was forced to miss the rest of the auditions as well as bootcamp. Cole returned for the 'judges houses' stage of the show but had to film this at a country house in Berkshire as she was still too ill to travel.

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