Rebecca Ferguson, 27, has announced that has a boyfriend whom she's been quietly dating for a year. In a Daily Mirror interview published on Dec. 26, 2013, Ferguson says she does not want to publicly reveal her boyfriend's identity, but she says that he is definitely not in the entertainment business.
Fergsuson (who is a single mother to an 8-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son) told the Daily Mirror how the romance developed with her current boyfriend: “He leaned in for a kiss and I realized he liked me. We’ve known each other for years and I always thought he liked my friend not me, so I didn’t bother. We’ve been together a year now. He’s lovely and he looks after the kids. He goes fishing with my son.”
So if Ferguson has been "secretly" dating her boyfriend for a year, why is she now telling the world about her relationship with him? Well, she has a new album to promote: "Freedom" (her second album), which debuted at No. 6 in the U.K. in December 2013.
Ferguson and One Direction's Zayn Malik (who is 20) dated each other for three or four months before splitting up in July 2011. They met when they were contestants on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2010. Ferguson came in second place that year, while One Direction came in third place.
Although Ferguson won't publicly give details about the breakup, she recently told the Daily Mirror in October 2012 that she was taking a hiatus from dating because she was tired of all of her boyfriends cheating on her. By making this statement that all of her ex-boyfriends have been unfaithful to her, she was clearly hinting that infidelity was a problem in her relationship with Malik.
Malik was recently quoted in Look magazine making these comments about his relationship with Ferguson: "It was just a weird situation and a weird time I was going through being away from home on The X Factor tour. To get that comfort and friendship from someone was nice. But I think it was a wrong decision to make at such a young age. Then it did end quite badly so we don't talk any more. It was just a wrong idea from the start. It shouldn't have happened. It did. And then we dealt with it and went our separate ways." Malik also said it was "unrealistic" for him and Ferguson to stay together because she's a single mother with two kids.
In an interview with New! magazine, Ferguson responded to Malik's comment: “I was so shocked by what he said! I’m not going to retaliate. All I will say is that there have been a lot of things said and he knows so far that I’ve stayed classy and quiet and bitten my lip.
“I’m not one to reveal big secrets about what’s gone on in a relationship, and I think he was probably put up to this. I know him too well to think he’d say it deliberately. I won’t talk about what went wrong between us but he knows what happened. And it is what it is. At this point in my career and at my stage of life, I won’t expose what went on there.”
When Ferguson and Malik were a couple, she told the now-defunct tabloid News of the World that they were "in love" and that Malik was the one who pursued her. Ferguson also said in interviews that she was at first reluctant to date Malik because of the six-year age difference between them, but he eventually won her over. When they were dating, Ferguson said in interviews that she was getting a lot of harassment from many One Direction fans and other people who disapproved of her relationship with Malik. After the breakup, she implied in interviews that she was the one who dumped Malik because the relationship "didn't feel right."
Malik has been dating Little Mix's Perrie Edwards (who is also 20) since April 2012, and they got engaged in August 2013. Little Mix was the winner of "The X Factor" U.K. in 2011.
In her New! magazine interview, Ferguson commented on Edwards and Malik dating each other: “I haven’t [met Edwards] but I am a fan of the Little Mix girls and she seems lovely. I think they’re good together.”
In her December 2013 interview with the Daily Mirror, Ferguson said she's had a tough time handling sudden fame and has made some mistakes along the way: “I started attracting really bad people. I came off 'The X Factor' and had all these clingers-on trying to be mates. I was so trusting and shy when people said they wanted to be my friend I went along and they ended up completely using me. They attempted to ruin me. They were like stalkers. I’d get threatening mail to the point where I was petrified in my own house.”
Ferguson didn't have much to say about her legal dispute with Modest! Management, the company that represented her from 2010 to 2012. Around the time of her split with her representatives at Modest! Management, Ferguson went on Twitter and called them of being "vile" and accused them over-working her to the point of collapse and not giving her enough time with her children.
Modest! Management sued Ferguson for breach of contract in September 2012, and the lawsuit was settled in July 2013. The settlement no doubt included a clause that prevents Ferguson and Modest! Management from publicly insulting each other.
Ferguson commented to the Daily Mirror about her conflict with Modest! Management: “For legal reasons, I cannot talk about that. I am bound and can’t say a word."
Modest! Management currently represents "X Factor" U.K. alumni One Direction and Olly Murs, who came in second place on the show in 2009. "X Factor" U.K. alumni Leona Lewis (winner in 2006) parted ways with Modest! Management in 2013, while Cher Lloyd (fourth place in 2010) left the management company in 2011. JLS (second place in 2008) was represented by Modest! Management but LS amicably disbanded in December 2013.
In 2012, "The X Factor" U.K. switched its contestant management account from Modest! Management to Quest Management. Under the deal, Quest Management will have first crack to represent "X Factor" U.K. contestants who do not have management. Quest Management's current roster of clients includes Paul McCartney, Björk, Arcade Fire, and "X Factor" U.K. 2012 winner James Arthur.