On July 13, 2014, the same day that the Sunday Mirror published an article that Cheryl Cole was ready to marry restaurant owner Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after dating him for three months, Cole revealed after the article was published that she and Fernandez-Versini were already married. On her official Instagram account, Cole posted a photo closeup of her engagement ring and wedding ring on her left hand, with this accompanying message: "I usually do not discuss my personal life but to stop the speculation I want to share my happy news... Jean-Bernard and I married on 7/7/14."
Just hours before Cole made the announcement, The Sun reported that she and Fernandez-Versini had eloped. According to the Daily Mirror, the couple got married in the Caribbean island of Mustique, and only four guests attended the wedding.
In June 2014, the Sunday People reported that things were getting serious between Cole (who is 31) and Fernandez-Versini (who is 33), because she had moved Fernandez-Versini into her home in Hertfordshire, England, just two months after the couple began dating.
An unnamed source told the Sunday People: “Jean-Bernard was based in France, he has work over there. But he’s now living happily with Cheryl. It’s all going so well. Cheryl is totally in love and the happiest she has been in a long time. They just click and Jean makes her laugh.
“Cheryl has to be in England for 'The X Factor,' so it seemed the perfect solution for her to move him in. She jokes that she rattles around in her house on her own. She definitely deserves some luck in her love life. It hasn’t exactly been easy for her over the past few years. It’s no secret she wants to settle down and have a family. Maybe this will be her chance.”
Cole and Fernandez-Versini (who owns the restaurant Cosy Box) met through mutual friends and began dating in April 2014, according to the Sunday People. In May 2014, Cole and Fernandez-Versini went public with their romance at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France.
Cole was a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. from 2008 to 2010. She was briefly a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2011 but she was notoriously fired in May of that year after just a few weeks on the job. At the time, "X Factor" creator/executive producer told the media that he took "full responsibility" for firing Cole. She rejoined "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel in 2014. Cole, Cowell, Louis Walsh and Mel B are all judges on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2014.
Fernandez-Versini is the latest in a series of high-profile romances that Cole has had since she found fame in 2002 as a member of Girls Aloud. She was married to soccer player Ashley Cole from 2006 to 2010. After her split from Ashley, she dated dancer Derek Hough from late 2010 to early 2011, but she never publicly admitted that they were a couple.
Cheryl and Ashley Cole got back together (but did not remarry) for about six months in 2011, but by October of that year, they had split up for good. Cheryl then dated her backup dancer Tre Holloway from 2012 to 2013.
Cheryl detailed her troubled marriage in her 2012 memoir "Cheryl: My Story." In the book she confirmed tabloid reports that the marriage was ruined because Ashley cheated on her many times. Before the former spouses officially divorced, several women gave tabloid interviews saying that they had affairs with Ashley while he was married to Cheryl.
In her memoir, Cheryl also detailed her "X Factor" experiences and described Cowell as a selfish and manipulative boss who fired her from the American "X Factor" because she turned down his request to go back to being a judge on the British "X Factor." Cheryl said she considered her firing a betrayal since she didn't see it coming and because Cowell (whom she considered to be a close friend at the time) did not have the courage to tell her himself. She refused to communicate with him for about five months after she was fired, but she reached a tentative truce with Cowell in October 2011 and began communicating with him again.
In 2012, she sued "The X Factor" U.S. for $2.3 million (or £1.4 million) for breach of contract, which included unpaid salary and other expenses. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2013. Terms of the settlement were not publicly disclosed.
For years after her firing, Cheryl that she never wanted to be an "X Factor" judge or work with Cowell again. She also repeated this vow in her memoir, in numerous interviews and on social media. Obviously, she changed her mind.
Cheryl's fourth solo album is expected to be released in 2014. The album's title and release date are to be announced. The album's first single is "Crazy Stupid Love," which is set for release in the U.K. and Ireland on July 20, 2014. Undoubtedly one of the reasons why she went back to "The X Factor" (besides her reported £1.5 million salary, which equals $2.55 million in U.S. dollars) is so that she can use the show as a platform to promote this album.
Meanwhile, public reactions to Cheryl's quickie second marriage have been mixed. Although she received many congratulations from fans on her Twitter and Instagram accounts, other people on the Internet have been predicting that this marriage will also end in divorce. And there have also been people wondering why she is still using her ex-husband's last name.
Here's a sampling of comments from Twitter:
"Why is Cheryl Cole still using her ex husbands name if she's married again?"
"Cheryl Cole had a 'secret wedding', with just family & close friends, and no media. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that just 'a wedding'?"
"Cheryl Cole married someone she’d only just met. This won’t end well, has she not seen Frozen?"
"Cheryl Cole has married her boyfriend of 5 minutes.. But is still using her ex husbands surname."
"We can't believe Cheryl Cole has gone and got married without anyone knowing, but will she change her last name? K&J X"
"Cheryl Cole pulled a Cher Lloyd about the whole marriage thing being secret and kept quiet."
"Congratulations Cheryl Cole."
"The poor French fella who's married Cheryl Cole after 3 months has obviously never heard of Titus Bramble #goer"
"Cheryl Cole's got married to a guy she's known 12 weeks. This will end beautifully."
"Cheryl Cole has married her boyfriend of 3 months. How on earth does that even make sense in someone's head?"