"Cheryl and I are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways," Payne wrote, adding, "It's been a tough decision for us to make."
Cheryl and Payne famously (or notoriously, depending on your take) met in 2008 when Payne was just 14. Ten years his senior, Cheryl was 24, working as a judge on The X Factor. Payne did not advance that season, but returned in 2010 and — as luck would have it — ended up in a boy band called One Direction. They didn't start dating until around 2016, when Cheryl officially split from her second husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini. In March of last year, the couple welcomed a baby named Bear. In his statement, Payne said that Bear is their "world" and asked that fans respect the child's privacy.
"We ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together," Payne wrote. Cheryl released the same statement on her Twitter account.
Cheryl and I 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.— Liam (@LiamPayne) July 1, 2018