The latest relationship rumor circulating around One Direction is the fact that Liam Payne may be dating “X Factor” judge Cheryl Cole, and some are even speculating that the roses tattoo Liam had inked on his hand in January may be a tribute to the unexpected new romance. Liam Payne’s roses tattoo is inked on the top of his left hand, in the same spot as the eagle tat on his opposite hand, and, if the rumors are true, could be a sneaky tribute to Cheryl Cole, who had a gigantic English roses tattoo inked on her back, butt and thighs in March 2013. The gorgeous piece was inked by the one and only Nikko Hurtado.
It seems that while Cheryl Cole and Liam Payne have known each other for quite some time (she was a judge on “The X Factor” when Liam first auditioned in 2008 at age 14) they only just started talking about actually dating in December, when Cheryl split from husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, whom she had dated for only three months before marrying. Liam broke things off with long-time girlfriend Sophia Smith in October, and it was just one month after his and Cheryl’s supposed romance began that Liam went under the needle for his new roses hand tattoo.
The first rumors of a possible romance between Cheryl Cole and Liam Payne started flying when Cheryl uploaded a photo to Instagram of herself cuddling up to a mystery man. That was followed up by another photo posted on March 2, showing Cheryl and three men, including Liam, with the caption “My mystery man line up #whosthemysteryman #whoisit #whosworthit.” Liam appeared to confirm the dating rumor, when, on the same day, he posted a photo on Instagram of himself leaning back in Cheryl’s arms in the back seat of a car.
Things got even more out of control when Liam posted a black and white Instagram selfie of himself shirtless and Cheryl flashing the peace sign, which he made his profile pic, and then immediately deleted (probably because Cheryl started getting death threats. Let’s face it, die-hard One Direction fans can be pretty brutal.) Actually, now that we think about it, the very first hint of a possible romance between Liam Payne and Cheryl Cole came on Valentine’s Day, when the 22-year-old posted a photo of a single red rose along with the caption, “Happy Valentine’s Day baby.”
It hasn’t been all roses for Cheryl Fernandez-Versini though. Since the news of their supposed budding romance was first made public, the singer has received a torrent of abuse from One Direction fans, and has been subjected to vulgar insults from those who are appalled by the couple’s ten-year age gap. One particularly nasty One Directioner ranted: F*** off Cheryl. You can have any man in the world. Step the f*** away from my Liam or we going to have problems.” In spite of all the haters though, Liam and Cheryl appear to be happy, and who knows, maybe she will one day replace her “Mrs. Cole” neck tattoo with some “Mrs. Payne” ink.