The pair started dating in 2016 and split in 2018 after having their son Bear, who is now 3 years old. In his 2019 TV special Ant Middleton and Liam Payne: Straight Talking, Payne shared that he “built fatherhood up so much in my head that it kind of messed me up to start with. I started in a bad place with it.”
Payne, who was 23 when Bear was born, continued, “I think it spooked me out early on, and I was just worried I would not be enough to look after the both of them. They’re so important to me — Cheryl as well.”
The boy bander recently appeared on Logan Paul’s podcast, Impaulsive, at the end of May and gave some insight on how he and co-parenting partner Cheryl raise Bear now. “She is the best mum in the world. I couldn’t ask for someone better,” he said. “I get to take my son to school one or two times a week and it’s the best thing. The relationship we have now as friends has only grown more.”
“We broke up for a reason and now she gives me full autonomy of my life and to do what I do and I know [Bear’s] taken care of. He is all she cares about and I couldn’t ask for more. They live like three minutes from my house,” he gushed.
While the singer continues to pursue his own creative endeavors as a solo artist, he shares “I always glue myself to where he is. My life now is his. My money is his. He’s a lovely, lovely boy. We’ve been blessed.”
Previously, Payne also talked about why he likes to keep Bear out of the limelight during a June 2021 podcast appearance on The Diary of A CEO by Steven Bartlett. “Obviously we protected his identity at first and that’s not being pretentious or anything other than the fact that I want to give him a chance to be Bear first before he has to be his mum and dad’s son.”
“What I love when I see my son is that he can be anything he wants in that moment.”
Cheers to the co-parenting exes making it work!