The truth behind Cheryl Cole and French husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini's secret relationship -
Jul 15, 2014 10:00 By Jeremy Armstrong, Halina Watts
The former Girls Aloud star first met her lover a few years ago -
not just three months ago as was reported
Cheryl Cole and her new French husband had not been dating for just 12 weeks when they tied the knot - but a whole six months.
They also knew each other previously from a few years ago, one source said.
Former Girls Aloud star Cheryl, who tied the knot with French lover Jean-Bernard, 33, on July 7, waited almost a week to announce the marriage with a statement on her web site and a picture released on Instagram.
“I usually do not discuss my personal life but to stop the speculation I want to share my happy news... Jean-Bernard and I married on 7/7/14,” she said in the statement.
The Crazy Stupid Love singer added: “We are very happy and excited to move forward with our lives together.”
She also posted the snap of a giant stone on her ring finger on Instagram.
The Cotton House Resort in MustiqueThe Cotton House Resort, part of the Villa Collection in Mustique
Since first being pictured together, Cole and Jean-Bernard were reported to have moved in together.
They were spotted at glamorous events such as the Cannes Film Festival. The handsome Frenchman had a playboy reputation when he lived in New York in his 20s and took a year off “just to party”.
Even though he has only been with Cheryl a relatively short time, Jean-Bernard has made a great impression with those around her.
X Factor’s executive producer Mark Sidaway said on Twitter: “Congrats to Cheryl and JB. Met him at the Newcastle auditions. Top fella. We shared a Chinese take away as he tried to teach Louis [Walsh] French.”
Cheryl Cole and her new French husband splashed out a small fortune on their paradise island wedding – including rings worth up to £300,000.
The former Girls Aloud star’s nuptials with Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini were arranged by the exclusive Cottons House resort in Mustique where staff members were sworn to secrecy.
Cottons wedding organiser Jan O’Neill told the Mirror: “I’m afraid I have signed the official secrets act on all of that.
“We can’t really discuss those things, they asked specifically to be private.”
One of the resort’s top villas overlooking Macaroni Beach, where the couple got married, costs £11,000 a week and comes complete with a butler, chef, housekeeper and gardener.
It has its own bar, a 49-feet pool, two plunge pools and a cinema.
The couple and their four guests are thought to have flown from London to St Lucia on a first class flight costing £9,000 each.
Cheryl Cole with boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini. Picture downloaded from his restaurant's Instagram site.
They then would have got a private jet to fly from St Lucia to Mustique costing £10,000 return.
Experts say Cheryl’s stunning new engagement ring and wedding band are worth up to £300,000.
The two rings he has bought the singer are far more expensive than the original engagement ring bought for her by her cheating ex-hubby Ashley Cole.
Jeweller to the stars Vashi Dominguez said: “Cheryl has been presented with an emerald cut diamond engagement ring by Jean-Bernard.
“Reminiscent of Kim Kardashian’s emerald cut choice following her recent wedding to rapper Kanye West, the ring is crafted from platinum in a wide band and mounted with two large side stones for that added sparkle.
“Cheryl wears the showstopper with an elegant channel set diamond wedding ring – a popular choice which is understated and sophisticated yet still beautifully eye-catching.
“After such a whirlwind romance, it seems Jean-Bernard has pulled out all the stops to better the nation’s sweetheart’s previous rings, bought by Ashley Cole. This bridal set has a value of almost £300,000.
“I would value the new engagement at £275,000 and the diamond wedding ring at £15,000.
“Jean-Bernard is to be congratulated for his taste - they are two gorgeous rings and work so well as a combination.”
GettyMacaroni Beach in Mustique, Grenadines in the CaribbeanMacaroni Beach in Mustique, Grenadines in the Caribbean
The star is expected to have a second bash to celebrate the wedding in the UK after getting hitched in front of just four people in Mustique.
This included Cheryl’s mum Joan, loyal PA Lily England, Jean-Bernard’s mum and his best man.
Friends expect the newly-weds to get a new house together, either in Paris or London.
The singer has told pals that she is losing her surname Cole and will now be known by her married name Cheryl Vernandez-Versini.
Cheryl is to tell X Factor producers she wants to be known as this when the series starts next month.
Cheryl’s dad today revealed she had kept the marriage to her French lover such a closely guarded secret that only a handful of family and friends knew she was tying the knot.
Garry Tweedy, 56, told the Mirror: “She has left it for a while before making it public because she just wanted it to be kept completely private.
“I knew about it but Cheryl did that quite deliberately. And it worked.”
Garry parted from Cheryl’s mum Joan Callaghan when she was 11 years old but are in regular contact via phone and text messages.
Still living in Cheryl’s native Newcastle upon Tyne, he was one of only a handful of people to know about his daughter’s wedding before it was officially announced.
Her step-dad Anthony Leighton, also in Newcastle, revealed most of the family knew nothing of the impending nuptials.
He said: “I am over the moon for her. If she’s happy then I’m happy. It is a right surprise. She’s lovely and I am really happy for her.
“I found out through Facebook, she doesn’t bother with us much. She phones her sister and she phones her brother sometimes but what we hear is just back and forward.
“This is a bit of a surprise for everyone. I’m pleased for her.”
When asked if the family attended the wedding he said: “I couldn’t tell you, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing in this family. Nobody says nowt about nowt to anybody.”
But he is since said to have settled down to focus on his restaurant business.
He recently leapt to his girlfriend’s defence after watching her perform on the final of Britain’s Got Talent. When viewers claimed that she had mimed, he wrote: “Lady Cole, I love how much you bother them.”
An X Factor source told how he also accompanied Cheryl to Edinburgh and added: “He fitted right in from the start and Jean-Bernard and Louis got on like a house on fire backstage. The team on the show love him.
“When Cheryl was with Ashley Cole they spent a lot of time in her dressing room but they seem very sociable and happy as a couple. Cheryl seems very happy.”
Cole married footballer Ashley Cole, amid huge publicity, in a lavish 2006 ceremony, but they divorced in 2010 following allegations that he had cheated on her.
She later had a brief romance with Derek Hough, and a longer romance with fellow dancer Tre Holloway. The marriage comes shortly after Cole, who is set to return to TV screens as a judge on the X Factor, revealed in a magazine interview that she felt as though she was having a nervous breakdown last year.
She told Elle magazine that, following her very public sacking from X Factor USA, she “wasn’t well in the head”.
“I can talk about this because I’m OK about it now,” she said. “But I went through hell and it literally drove me mad.
GettyAshley Cole and Cheryl ColeCheryl has already experienced the lows of divorce
“It only hit me at the beginning of 2013 that I’d completely lost myself. I’d look in a mirror and think ‘Who the hell is she?’.
“I didn’t know what I thought or felt about anything, couldn’t make decisions - I didn’t even know what to eat or drink. Something was seriously wrong: it felt like a nervous breakdown.
“I had to stop, get out of my life I’d been living and find myself again. The consequences if I didn’t were just too frightening.”
The singer said that she was in a much happier place now, adding: “’I’ve learned that there is no such thing as a plan. You can’t make them.”
Mustique is a private island, owned by the Mustique Company, which has only 100 private villas.
It’s a popular hang-out for celebrities, with stars such as Amy Winehouse, Bryan Adams, Mick Jagger and Jeremy Clarkson either holidaying there or owning houses there.
The Royal family have even been regular visitors to the island with Prince William and wife Kate staying in a home owned by a Venezuelan which boasts its own infinity pool.
The Queen has been three times, first in 1966, and then again in 1977 and 1985.
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