Friends of Cheryl Cole insist Derek Hough is not her boyfriend - with boxer Amir Khan alleging their rumoured romance is a ploy to keep the singer's personal life private.
Cheryl Cole's friends insist she isn't dating Derek Hough.
The Girls Aloud beauty has been romantically linked with the 'Dancing With The Stars' professional since earlier this year - shortly after her split from Ashley Cole amid reports he had been unfaithful - but pals of the pop star claim their relationship is platonic.
The singer's pal, boxer Amir Khan told Grazia magazine: "I had dinner with Cheryl and Derek in Los Angeles last week. He's not her boyfriend. They're not going out. It's all just a cover up to keep photographers at bay."
British singer Joe McElderry - who struck up a close bond with Cheryl when she mentored him on UK TV talent show 'The X Factor' last year - is in regular contact with the 'Fight for This Love' singer, but even he is unconvinced that Derek is her boyfriend.
He told BANG Showbiz: "Cheryl's great. I spoke to her the other day and she's doing fine. I don't know whether Derek's her boyfriend or not, but it seems like he's a nice man."
Cheryl and Derek first became friends earlier this year, when the blonde hunk appeared in her 'Parachute' music video. Since then, Derek has been a permanent fixture in Cheryl's life, supporting her throughout her split from Ashley, taking her on lavish holidays - including to Tanzania, where she contracted malaria.
However, despite the claims, Derek's stepfather, Aaron Nelson, recently insisted the dancer has found "true love" with the British star.
He said: "For Derek, this is true love. There is No Doubt about it. He is totally in love with her. And it's easy to see why. She is one hell of a girl. Very talented and incredibly beautiful.
"I know Derek is in love with her because he has told me he is in love with her."