Cheryl and Liam Payne split two weeks before announcing their break-up to the public, a source close to the couple has told HELLO!. The pair, who share one-year-old son Bear, announced their break-up on Sunday night in an identical message on Twitter which read: "We 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. Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together." Speaking about the couple parting ways after dating since 2016, the insider said: "Liam and Cheryl are living separately and have been for a couple of weeks now. There was genuine love between them, so this is hard. They care a lot for each other and want to be there for their child, so they are focussed on making sure they remain close.'"
Liam and Cheryl announced their split on Sunday
Although Cheryl and Liam have remained quiet since announcing their split, the former Girls Aloud band member took to Twitter to shut down reports that her mum was behind their difficulties. "I hate responding to stuff esp [sic] at such difficult times but I cannot sit here and listen to such nasty, false articles regarding my mam," she wrote. "I don't know why they involve her in stories about me. I can assure you she has absolutely nothing to do with any of it. I am a grown woman who is capable of dealing with my own life. She is a soft and kind woman who doesn't deserve to be dragged into something that has nothing whatsoever to do with her."
The pair were reported to have split earlier this year, but they had publicly denied that anything was wrong when asked in interviews. Cheryl had celebrated her 35th birthday over the weekend with her former Girls Aloud bandmates Nicola Roberts and Kimberly Walsh, and shared a photo of the trio on her Instagram account.