Nicola Roberts hints that Liam Payne is behind break up with Cheryl

A Girls Aloud star made a subtle suggestion it is Liam Payne who is behind the break up between the One Direction star and Cheryl.

Nicola Roberts, who worked with Cheryl for years as part of Popstars: The Rivals-winning band Girls Aloud, has hinted it may be Liam who is behind his and Cheryl’s break up as she tried to swerve questions about the singer.

She said while she has just finished her own solo record, she has been working alongside Cheryl to help her make her album for the past six months.

When asked about whether Cheryl is coping well after the break up, Nicola said: "She’s good, I actually think what’s been interesting this week is how the misogyny through the media has been played out.

"’Oh why can’t she hold a man down’ and stuff like that, but why can’t a man hold her down?

"But she’s good."

The statement got a huge applause from the Loose Women audience, where Nicola was speaking, at the idea of Cheryl’s break up being portrayed as being due to her inability to hold a man down.

Nicola also tried to swerve the discussion of a possible Girls Aloud reunion, saying she loves the fact she is always asked about the reunion, but not answering whether the group would try and get back together.

She did says she was in the middle of her own album, which is set to be released fairly soon, while also working alongside Barnardo’s with their new animation about child exploitation, which is being fronted by the star and Chris Harper, who played Bethany Platt’s evil groomer Nathan in Coronation Street.

Cheryl has spoken out since the break up, saying her mother, Joan, was nothing to do with the break up, after reports suggested she had been too involved in their relationship.

The singer and X Factor judge put out a comment saying "she is a soft an kind woman" and calling on the press to exclude her from articles about the break up.

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The couple announced their break up on July 1, with Twitter statements which assured fans their child will be at the centre of the relationship.

Liam’s comment said: "Cheryl and I are sat to announce that we are going out separate ways.

"It’s been a tough decision for us to ake. We still have so much love for each other as a family.

"Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate out as through this together."

MirrorOnline has contacted a spokesperson for Liam.

Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.

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