Liam Payne and longtime girlfriend Cheryl announced that they are officially separating following weeks of rumors.
The couple, who fell in love in 2015 after meeting on the X Factor, announced the news separately. First, the former One Direction singer shared a statement with his fans on Twitter confirming 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.
The two met when Liam auditioned for the reality show in 2008, when he was only 14 years old. Not only did the show allow Liam 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.
Cheryl and Liam welcomed their son Bear in March last year amid rumors that they would be splitting up. However, they stayed together for another two years, until today.
As People notes, Payne most recently defended the relationship in an interview, but admitted that the couple faced “struggles” together.