Liam Payne and Cheryl Cole
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Liam Payne Splits with Cheryl: ‘It’s Been a Tough Decision’

Former One Direction star Liam Payne and his longtime girlfriend Cheryl are splitting up, but announcing that they still have “love for each other as a family.”

The British pop-stars made the joint announcement Monday morning, “Cheryl and I are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways. It’s been a tough decision for us to make. We still have so much love for each other as a family.”

The ex-couple say that while they are breaking up, the focus for them remains on their 1-year-old son, Bear.  They both agree “Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together.”

24-year-old Payne and 35-year-old Cheryl first met when she was a judge and he auditioned for the British talent competition show, “X Factor” in 2008. They had been together since 2016.