LONDON -- British singer and TV personality Cheryl Cole says she is separating from her husband, football (soccer) player Ashley Cole.
The 26-year-old Girls Aloud pop singer is a judge for the British reality talent show "The X Factor" along with Simon Cowell. She asked the media to respect her privacy "during this difficult time" in a statement issued Tuesday by her publicist.
Ashley Cole plays left back for Chelsea and the England national team.
RELATED: Check out pics of Simon Cowell
British media had speculated the marriage was in trouble after tabloids published front-page stories reportedly linking Ashley Cole to other women.
Cheryl Cole's song "Fight for This Love" was nominated for a 2010 Brit award.