Published Tuesday, 19 February 2013
The Girls Aloud beauty hit headlines last year when Now magazine featured an expose which falsely alleged she had embarked on a romance with former So Solid Crew rapper MC Harvey following her split from her now ex-husband, England football star Ashley Cole.
She sued over the report, and on Tuesday, editors of Now published an apology and agreed to pay Cole damages.
In the apology, they suggest they were duped by a "calculated and meticulous hoaxer", who also deceived the hip-hop star - real name Michael Harvey.
The note reads: "Although we said we’d seen several hundred emails, written over a six month period, apparently between Cheryl, her mother and Michael, we are now satisfied that the emails from Cheryl and her mother are not genuine.
"They appear to be the work of a calculated and meticulous hoaxer masquerading as Cheryl who went to great length to deceive Mr Harvey... The hoaxer's motives remain unknown, but what has become clear is that there was never any relationship between Cheryl and Michael... We’re sorry, Cheryl, for any embarrassment and upset we have caused you. We have agreed to pay Cheryl damages and her legal costs."
Cole subsequently addressed the drama in a series of posts on her Twitter page, posting a picture of the apology message and writing: "Now magazine... Expensive lies... Mugged off (sic)... Who has egg on their face?... Apology and I am now satisfied that you are f****** liars!!!!!"