After Ashley's betrayal, Cheryl leans on new friends...
Pal and fellow X Factor judge Simon Cowell, 50, is always there if Cheryl needs to talk and there are other guys she can confide in.
The Newcastle player
‘Most of the time Cheryl was visiting her brother Andrew in prison and no one knew anything about it,’ a friend tells Now.
‘Ashley’s only been up once or twice in their entire relationship and he hated it. It left the way clear for proud Geordie Cheryl to get pally with a Newcastle United player in about May 2008,’ a source reveals.
Single at the time and renting in the posh Grove Park area, the young player was flattered by the attention, but he and Cheryl were only friends.
‘Ashley didn’t know about it,’ says the source. ‘He thought she was seeing old school friends and family. Her loved ones are fiercely protective and never spill the beans on what she’s up to.’
The visits have lessened since Cheryl’s mum Joan Callaghan moved in with the couple in the summer of 2008. Cheryl’s exes before Ashley include former Newcastle players Kieron Dyer and Titus Bramble.
Sexy dancer Derek Hough, 24, who gets very close to 26-year-old Cheryl in her video for Parachutes, has also caused tongues to wag.
The day after touching down in LA, Cheryl took time out of her busy schedule of meetings to go on a cinema date with Derek, 24.
The pair went to see the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day. Cheryl wasn’t wearing her ring, after putting a gold costume jewellery ring on her wedding finger on her way to the US.
An onlooker says: ‘Cheryl sent a limo to pick Derek up and they spent the afternoon in the trendy Arclight Theater. They sneaked in a secret VIP entrance and escaped through the underground car park. They didn’t want to be seen.’
Derek isn’t a new addition in Cheryl’s life. In December he Tweeted: ‘Just finished rehearsal with Cheryl Cole. She’s great to work with. Very nice.’
Derek is single, having previously dated his dance partner Shannon Elizabeth.
Fans have speculated about the relationship between Cheryl and Derek, who insist they’re just pals.
See the full story about Cheryl and Ashley Cole in Now magazine dated 1 March – out now!