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23 November 2018, 10:45 | Updated: 23 November 2018, 12:19
Kimberley Walsh has defended her former Girls Aloud bandmate following the controversy
Cheryl's raunchy rendition of new single Love Made Me Do It on Sunday night's X Factor Results Show caused quite a stir, with many viewers branding the performance as too 'sexual' - prompting Ofcom to launch an official investigation.
The backlash led Cheryl to respond to the negativity on Instagram and insist that she was happy with the performance, with many fans voicing their support of the star.
Also jumping to Cheryl's defence is her former Girls Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh, who exclusively told Heart that she loved the performance and felt like a 'proud mum' watching her on stage.
She told us: "I thought it was amazing. I loved seeing her back on there doing what she does."
And speaking about the backlash to the performance, Kimberley continued: "I’m not interested in any negativity.
"I like seeing my best friend up there doing her thing, and I just felt proud to be honest... she’s out there doing her thing again. I felt like a proud mum."
Cheryl, who usually stays quiet in the face of media controversy, earlier this week made the unusual move of posting a lengthy statement in response to the criticism.
She wrote: "I wanted to start by saying thank you all so much for your lovely comments and support for my performance on Sunday. You may not have read about them but I definitely saw and felt them!
"Having spent 16 years in the public eye I have always been accepting of people's opinions. Me personally, my music and performances are never going to be for everyone. And that's OK.
"I let a lot of things lie but the sheer level of unbalanced negativity towards me in the tabloid press these past few days has been frankly shocking and I need to address it".
She continued: "This level of relentless abuse should not be tolerated in any walk of life. From my appearance, my body size and shape to my performance and even dragging innocent people into this like they did to Nile Rodgers simply for a clickbait headline is totally uncalled for. It also gives the trolls a bigger voice and platform.
"What's even more surprising to me is that some of these people are the first to write that we should be being more socially aware and conscious of online bullying and mental health awareness. Is this any different?"
Cheryl went on to thank fans for their support and "being strong minded enough to not be influenced by the negativity", adding: "PS... I did watch my performance back and I LOVED IT!"
Media Ofcom said on Monday (19 November) that it had received 15 complaints "objecting to sexual tone and clothing in Cheryl's routine".
Kimberley has teamed up with Boots to deliver new research about the Christmas shopping habits of Generation G. The findings show that almost three quarters of people are now using social media to look for gift inspiration. Visit boots.com for more information.
The X Factor continues this Saturday at 8PM.