Friday, February 19, 2010

He's not the Messiah, Cheryl; he's a very naughty boy

My op-ed in yesterday's Evening Herald about the idiocy of Ashely Cole...

IN the history of lame excuses, it’s as lame as a one-legged duck. According to footballer Ashley Cole, there is a perfectly innocent explanation for why pictures of his wobbly bits were sent from a mobile phone that he owned to the phone of a blonde model.

He forgot he had taken naked pics of himself before he loaned the mobile to a friend who was ‘between phones’. That friend passed it onto another friend. That friend-of-a-friend found the pics, pretended to be Ashley and forwarded them for a larf, innit?

Bloody hell, but Cole is one unlucky fella. If that’s what happened, that’s what happened. Sometimes dogs really do eat homework.

Still and all: who takes naked pictures of themselves when they are alone in their hotel room and saves them on their phone? Cheryl Cole shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about whether to believe her husband’s three-men-and-a-phone explanation. She should just get down to brass tacks and realise that this guy is just too dumb to stay with any longer.

If you are a high-profile young man who has, in the past, been accused of cheating on your equally famous wife, the best policy would surely be to live your life as blamelessly as possible. Taking pics of yourself in the nip and leaving them lying about in a mobile is not clever. It’s sub-stupidity of epic proportions.

Instead of protecting your lovely wife – Britain’s sweetheart, if we are to believe her good press – from any future hurt, you open her up to deep, public humiliation. Cheryl, sweetheart, you can do without him. Don’t believe the lyrics of your own song. Don’t Fight For This Love.

Much has been made of the fact that Cheryl has flown to LA on her own, with a big piece of costume jewellery where her wedding ring should be. It could just be that Ashley is laid up at home with his broken ankle (and wouldn’t it be awful if Cheryl accidentally banged off it with her suitcase on the way out the door.)

But I hope it’s a sign of her intentions. I hope it means she is through with standing by her man.

There is so much to admire about the former Cheryl Tweedy. She dragged herself out of a tough background on a council estate in Newcastle by sheer talent and ambition. By showing her vulnerability and empathy on the X-Factor, she has made herself one of TV’s most popular personalities. She doesn’t deserve to shed any more tears over her husband.

She doesn’t need to stay with him for status or money (John Terry’s wife, do you hear me?) She has made it on her own. She didn’t need to stay with him in 2008 when hairdresser Aimee Walton sold her story to the newspapers. She didn’t need to stay with him when another buxom young lady came forward claiming to have ‘scored’ with the England footballer. She doesn’t need to do it now.

Ashley Cole might well be an innocent party in all this. Cheryl, however, has more to be getting on with than to wait around to find out.

Ashley suffers from the same syndrome as many young Premier League footballers. All they really have is their two right feet. The silly money they earn, and the fame it brings them, can turn their head. Why was Ashley Cole taking pics of his naked glory? If it wasn’t for someone else, it was so he could admire himself. How arrogant is that.

These lads, being constantly told they are the icons of their generation, develop a God complex. They don’t always have the education or the smarts to temper themselves with a bit of modesty.

But do you know what Cheryl – they are not Messiahs. Mostly, they are just very naughty boys.

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