Cheryl and Ashley Cole have been granted a divorce at the High Court in London.

The decree nisi was granted by District Judge Christopher Simmonds on the grounds of Ashley Cole’s admitted unreasonable behaviour.

The pair separated in February after public allegations about the England and Chelsea defender’s infidelity.

They met in 2004 when they both had homes in the same London apartment block. Cole, 29, eventually got Cheryl’s number from Girl’s Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh, who was friendly with one of the player’s then team-mates at Arsenal. The pop star/footballer union soon led to them being compared to the Beckhams. They were engaged in 2005 after he proposed in Dubai and they tied the knot the next year, with an OK! deal.

In early 2008 claims were made, in toe-curling detail, that Ashley Cole had been unfaithful during his time with Cheryl.

Their troubled marriage was subject of much media attention and Cheryl Cole was pictured on a number of occasions without her wedding ring. The ring was off again in February when she appeared at the Brit Awards performing her chart-topping solo single Fight For this Love, in an apparent sign that the marriage was doomed.

This time it was as a result of stories detailing how pictures of an undressed Ashley Cole were texted to a glamour model. He said the images were sent after he had passed the phone to a friend and had forgotten to delete the photos he had taken.

Yet days later another woman came forward to say she too had received saucy shots from the same phone months earlier. And to compound the misery – and pile pressure on the state of the marriage – another woman came forward claiming she had slept with the player in 2009 while he was in the US.

The celebrity couple were one of 29 couples who will be granted decrees nisi – a preliminary divorce order which could be finalised within weeks if neither side objects – at the Principal Registry of the Family Division in High Holborn, London. They are the only couple on the list to be solely referred to by their initials.