What will Cheryl think of this?

Cheryl Cole had a pretty tumultuous relationship with first husband Ashley and now shock new allegations have suggested that the romance began in an equally controversial way…

Ashley’s former teammate Jermaine Pennant has claimed in a tell-all book that the football star already had a GIRLFRIEND when he started dating 35-year-old Cheryl – and this resulted in a particularly dramatic moment at Ashley’s flat.

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Jermaine explained that Cheryl met his fellow Arsenal star Ashley, 37, when the boys lived in the same building as Girls Aloud and they soon started talking.

‘They’d told us all to keep it quiet,’ he wrote.

But then it all kicked off when Ashley’s girlfriend apparently showed up at his apartment one day – whilst he was inside with Cheryl.

‘The door was locked from the inside,’ Jermaine explained. ‘He’d kept the key in the lock so no one could get in.

‘His girlfriend at the time had a key. She was trying to get in, calling him, going mad because she knew someone was in there.

‘She was calling all the lads. We were ignoring her calls, we knew what was going down. Cheryl and Ashley inside were probably looking at each other thinking: “What’s going on?”’

Jermaine, 35, also revealed in the book that he tried to pursue Cheryl’s BFF Kimberley Walsh – but she made it clear that she wasn’t interested, having started dating future husband Justin Scott.

‘Around that time, I was messaging Kimberley,’ he said. ‘She had a boyfriend and is now married to him but at the time I got her number.

‘I was sending texts, telling her she was amazing. She’d say: “I’ve got a boyfriend.” I never gave up but nothing came of it. I tried all sorts.’

Cheryl married Ashley in 2006 but their romance hit the rocks after claims of infidelity against Ashley, resulting in the couple divorcing in 2010.

Since the split Ashley has gone on to have two children with Italian model Sharon Canu.

Meanwhile Cheryl had an unsuccessful second marriage to Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini before finding love with Liam Payne and welcoming son Bear last year.

Unfortunately the romance didn’t last though, with Cheryl and Liam announcing their separation last month.