Cheryl and Ashley split
Pop star Cheryl Cole is separating from her footballer husband Ashley, her spokesman has confirmed.
The announcement came just hours after the X Factor judge arrived back in the UK from Los Angeles to face the ongoing rumours about her marriage.
She went to the US following tabloid allegations that her Chelsea and England player husband had been unfaithful.
The Girls Aloud singer's spokesman, Sundraj Sreenivasan, said: "Cheryl Cole is separating from her husband Ashley Cole.
"Cheryl asks the media to respect her privacy during this difficult time. We have no further comment to make."
The other four members of Girls Aloud are "supporting Cheryl in private", the spokesman added.
The Coles, who live in a £3.5m mansion in Surrey, met in 2004 and married two years later.
They survived an apparently difficult patch in early 2008 after claims of Ashley Cole's infidelity first emerged.
But the marriage was put under pressure again in recent weeks after reports of the footballer sending images of himself to other women.
Despite the rumours, Cheryl took to the stage to perform at the Brits before travelling to the US.
During her time in LA, the 26-year-old was pictured being comforted by American dancer Derek Hough, who appears in the video for her latest single.
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