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SINCE AN­NOUNC­ING THE end of his two-year re­la­tion­ship with Ch­eryl last month, Liam Payne has been de­scribed as some­one ‘en­joy­ing his sin­gle sta­tus’. How­ever, last week the chat sur­round­ing his love life stepped up a notch when the singer was spot­ted ‘grind­ing’ with singer Rita Ora back­stage at a pre-mtv VMAS con­cert.

Liam, 24, is al­ready ru­moured to be dat­ing model Cairo Dwek, 20, and has been linked to heiress Maya Henry, 18, since he split up with Ch­eryl – four months af­ter they cel­e­brated their son Bear’s first birth­day.

Now, in­sid­ers say Liam’s be­hav­iour has left Ch­eryl, 35, ‘fu­ri­ous’ while film­ing her new BBC tal­ent show The Great­est Dancer last week. ‘Ch­eryl is not just up­set at how Liam is han­dling his life since they made their an­nounce­ment, she’s fum­ing,’ an in­sider tells us.

Ch­eryl, who is no­to­ri­ously pri­vate, was forced to deny split rumours with Liam ear­lier this year af­ter he recorded a steamy duet with Rita, 27, for the movie Fifty Shades Freed. Re­ports be­gan cir­cling that Ch­eryl was jeal­ous of their chem­istry, and she and Liam sub­se­quently put on a united front at the BRIT Awards in Fe­bru­ary in an at­tempt to shut down spec­u­la­tion.

Which is why it’s ap­par­ently been all the more galling for Ch­eryl to see Rita and Liam get­ting close. ‘Part of the rea­son they sep­a­rated was Liam’s in­sen­si­tiv­ity when it came to what he said and did in pub­lic while they were to­gether, but with his re­cent be­hav­iour he’s mak­ing things even worse. Ch­eryl’s main con­cern is that it’s mak­ing it seem like she and Bear are not his priority. She feels he’s act­ing like that part of his life didn’t hap­pen,’ said the source.

Liam pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted how he would of­ten get into trou­ble with Ch­eryl for be­ing so open about their re­la­tion­ship in in­ter­views, cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from her preg­nancy weight gain to boast­ing about the size of his man­hood. How­ever, it seems as though the for­mer One Di­rec­tion star is still mak­ing Ch­eryl wince. Just last week, he re­port­edly told To­tal Ac­cess: ‘I like sex. So what bet­ter way to mu­si­cally ex­press my­self as a young man grow­ing up? I’m into it. I like it. It’s good.’

‘ The way Liam is act­ing is still mak­ing Ch­eryl cringe and she’s find­ing him run­ning around with all these girls mor­ti­fy­ing,’ the in­sider ex­plains. ‘It’s not that she’s up­set about the split or even him get­ting with other girls, it’s more about how she’s made to look. They’re not on friendly terms at the mo­ment, so com­mu­ni­ca­tion is lim­ited and all very much around ar­range­ments with Bear. Ch­eryl is known for be­ing pro­tec­tive over how her per­sonal life is per­ceived and Liam is re­ally test­ing her.’

To make mat­ters worse, Ch­eryl is also said to be an­noyed that Liam’s an­tics could over­shadow her grand re­turn to the spot­light in the run-up to her new TV show and solo al­bum.

‘ This is meant to be her chance for a big come­back af­ter a dif­fi­cult year,’ the in­sider con­tin­ues. ‘But Liam is taint­ing that. Their split is still fresh. The sad truth is that Ch­eryl feels in­cred­i­bly em­bar­rassed by Liam’s an­tics.’

Above: Ch­eryl and Liam showed a united front at the BRITS in Fe­bru­ary. Be­low: Liam with Rita Ora

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