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Liam Payne and Cheryl Cole have reportedly called it quits. Payne shared a statement on Sunday asking for privacy throughout the process. He mentioned their son in the statement, a baby named Bear who was born in 2017.

“Cheryl and I are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways. It’s been a tough decision for us to make. We still have so much love for each other as a family. Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together.”

Cole shared a very similar statement on her own social media as pages. The couple first met on the TV show X Factor. Payne was a 14-year-old contestant at the time, while Cole, ten years his senior, was a judge on the show. At the time she was married to footballer Ashley Cole but she did tell her future boyfriend Payne that he was cute at their first meeting.

“I like you, I think you’re really cute. I think you’ve got charisma: I saw you giving us that cheeky little wink.”

Payne did not make the live show rounds that year, but he would return the next year and go on to become a part of the mega-star boyband group,One Direction.

The two went public with their relationship in 2016 and then announced their pregnancy the following year.

The couple was rumored to be having issues back in February, which were assumed to have something to do with their rather large age gap. A source has since spoken out and shared more details about the split, explaining that the two are just in different places in their lives.

“Cheryl and Liam worked really hard on their relationship – they had troubles earlier this year and were able to get through them. But they’re in different stages of their lives and, after a lot of careful thought, came to a decision that it’s best for everyone if they do go their separate ways.”

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