Craig Balkham doesn't think Cheryl was in love with dancer Derek

Craig Balkam spent a year as Cheryl Cole‘s minder and was at Cheryl’s side when she signed her divorce papers to free herself from cheating husband Ashley.

Cheryl was more than a client – I saw her almost like a little sister,’ the 6ft 3in bodyguard is reported to have told a pal.

‘She and I spoke a lot about the pain Ashley caused her and I didn’t want to see her hurt again.’

The minder was also with Cheryl, 28, in August last year when she made a six-week trip to LA with Derek Hough.

Cheryl was so much smarter and more ­worldly wise than Derek,’ Craig, 42, told his friend, reports the Sunday Mirror.

‘He was much keener on her than she was on him. He was definitely in love with her – you could tell from the way he looked at her.

‘But she was almost never ­openly affectionate with him in public. He was asked to walk behind her in public so they wouldn’t appear in the same photos.’

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