Cheryl speaks out about 'relentless abuse' she received over X Factor performance

Jack Shepherd

Cheryl has responded to the ”relentless abuse” she received following her performance on Sunday night’s X Factor (18 November).

The singer – who was once a judge on the ITV show – said the ”sheer level of unbalanced negativity” towards her has been “shocking”.

Cheryl had performed the track “Love Made Me Do It” during the results programme, with the energetic performance seeing her licking her hand and writhing around in a tight black bodysuit.

Media watchdog Ofcom revealed on Monday it had received 15 complaints “objecting to sexual tone and clothing in Cheryl‘s routine”.

Posting on Twitter, Cheryl wrote: “I wanted to start by saying thank you all so much for your lovely comments and support for my performance on Sunday. You may not have read about them but I definitely saw and felt them!

“Having spent 16 years in the public eye I have always been accepting of people’s opinions. Me personally, my music and performances are never going to be for everyone. And that’s OK.”

The 35-year-old, whose new single is her first release since 2015’s “Only Human”, went on to say she “let a lot of things lie but the sheer level of unbalanced negativity towards me in the tabloid press these past few days has been frankly shocking and I need to address it”.

She continued: “This level of relentless abuse should not be tolerated in any walk of life. From my appearance, my body size and shape to my performance and even dragging innocent people into this like they did to Nile Rodgers simply for a clickbait headline is totally uncalled for. It also gives the trolls a bigger voice and platform.

“What’s even more surprising to me is that some of these people are the first to write that we should be being more socially aware and conscious of online bullying and mental health awareness. Is this any different?”

She ended her post thanking her fans for “being strong minded enough to not be influenced by the negativity”, and added a note at the end of her message saying: “PS... I did watch my performance back and I LOVED IT!”

Following Sunday night’s show, Chic star Nile Rodgers took to social media to dismiss suggestions he had “snubbed” Cheryl by not standing after her performance.

Rodgers, 66, who has been filling in for X Factor judge Robbie Williams, tweeted two photographs from the show and a long explanation saying: “So I get to the lounge, open my powerbook and it says: X Factor fans are ‘convinced’ that I snubbed Cheryl.

“With this pic on left as proof. Pic on right was me before I just happened to sit down. I’d never snub ANYBODY. It’s not my nature. Really folks? This is what we’ve come to.”

Cheryl, who rose to fame as part of pop bad Girls Aloud after winning Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, and ex-partner Liam Payne, 25, became first-time parents in March last year to a baby boy they named Bear.

She last appeared as a judge on ITV’s The X Factor in 2015 and featured in 2017 alongside head judge Simon Cowell during the judges’ houses stage.

Cheryl‘s next television project sees her take the role of dance captain on BBC One’s new Saturday night show, The Greatest Dancer, due to air next year.

Additional reporting by agencies.

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