Liam Payne and longtime girlfriend Cheryl announced that they are officially separating following weeks of rumors.
The couple, who got their start in 2015 after meeting on the “X Factor U.K.” announced the news separately to their followers on Twitter. First, the former One Direction singer shared a message with his fans explaining that the relationship was ending but there is no bad blood between the couple, who share a one-year-old son, Bear.
“Cheryl and I are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways. It’s been a tough decision for us to make,” Payne, 24, wrote. “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.”
Not long after, Cheryl, 35, shared an almost identical message to her fans soon after.
The two met on the reality show when Liam was a contestant in 2008. Not only did the show allow him to briefly find love, but it propelled his group, former boy band One Direction, to unprecedented fame alongside Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik. The couple had Bear in 2017 amid rumors that they would be splitting up. However, they both shut those rumors down at some point or another throughout their two-year relationship.
As People notes, Payne most recently defended the relationship in an interview, but admitted that the couple faced “struggles” together.