Louis Walsh reignites Cheryl feud as he brings up her toilet attendant assault on Big Brother

Louis Walsh discussed Cheryl’s 2003 assault conviction during last night’s episode of Celebrity Big Brother, with the former X Factor judge saying “It’s not forgotten” in relation to the incident.

Cheryl was 19 at the time and had just found fame as one fifth of Girls Aloud when she was involved in an altercation with a nightclub toilet attendant, Sophie Amogbokpa, and subsequently charged with racially aggravated assault over the incident in January 2003.

The Fight For This Love singer, now 40, was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at her trial in October 2003, but cleared of the racially aggravated assault charge. The court ordered her to do 120 hours of community work, pay £500 to the victim and cover £3,000 for legal costs, with Judge Richard Howard telling the star at her sentencing: “This was an unpleasant piece of drunken violence which caused Sophie Amogbokpa pain and suffering.”

Louis, who was Girls Aloud’s manager at the time of Cheryl’s conviction, recalled how his former client broke the law while talking to Marisha Wallace and Zeze Millz during last night’s update from the Celebrity Big Brother house. ZeZe was the one to bring up Cheryl’s past, telling American Marisha: “Cheryl Cole had that big incident where she beat up the toilet attendant. She gave [the victim] a black eye, it was a big thing in the papers.”


“I was her manager. It’s true,” 71-year-old Louis added, to which Broadway star Marisha questioned how Cheryl got herself into trouble just months on from her band bagging their debut No1 with Sound Of The Underground and was still so fresh from her Popstars: The Rivals victory. “She was unprepared. Unprepared,” Louis said. “She hit that woman, a big black eye. Oh it was huge, a big story.”

He went on to add “It’s not forgotten, it’s not forgotten” before crediting Cheryl’s PR team with “saving” her career. “She had very good PR,” Louis told Zeze and Marisha. “Very good PR and a great record company. They did their best.” The Mirror has approached representatives for Cheryl for comment on this story.

Cheryl famously almost lost her place in Girls Aloud in 2003 after her assault charge led to a conviction – with many calling for the Geordie singer to be replaced. Cheryl had been on a night out The Drink nightclub in Guildford, Surrey, with her bandmate Nicola Roberts when the incident took place in January 2003.

CHERYL TWEEDY ARRIVING AT KINGSTON CROWN COURT.PICTURE BY STEVE REIGATE 15/10/2003


                          Sophie Amogbokpa January 2003 toilet attendant at the Drink Club in Surrey
Cheryl arriving at Kingston Crown Court in 2003                Sophie Amogbokpa’s injuries after the assault 

The mum-of-one, who shares son Bear with One Direction singer Liam Payne, was accused of racially aggravated assault and assault causing actual bodily harm after punching a toilet attendant. She insisted she’d acted in self-defence, and also denied the racism claims.

Cheryl faced trial at Kingston Crown Court in October 2003 and the jury unanimously found her guilty on the assault charge, but the racism charges were dropped. She continued her career with Girls Aloud and wrote a message to fans on the group’s website shortly after her conviction, penning: “Thank U so much 4 everything. I really appreciate it: loadsa love hugs and kisses”. After completing her community service, Cheryl issued a public statement of apology on BBC Radio Five Live, stating: “I’m sorry to the fans and to my family and the other girls that it ever happened. I’m sorry that I went out that night.”


In her 2012 autobiography, My Story, Cheryl reiterated her version of events, writing: “Completely out of nowhere, I was hit in the face. I swear on my mother’s life that’s what happened. As the months went on and I prepared for the trial, I started to see that it was not acceptable to have hit her under any circumstances, even in self-defence.”

Since then, Cheryl has seemingly been reluctant to discuss the incident. In 2018, journalist Peter Robinson brought up the assault charge during an interview with Cheryl for the Guardian Guide. He noted how “temperature in the room seem[ed] to drop several degrees” when he questioned her about it, before the Call My Name claimed it was “irrelevant” and branded the subject “boring”. “I don’t understand why you’d even bring it up,” Cheryl told the journalist, before adding that she doesn’t think anyone ever talks about it anymore.


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