In the immediate aftermath of the allegations, the 32-year-old was forced to carry on and perform her hit Fight For This Love at the BRIT Awards, in the full glare of the media spotlight.
The X Factor judge told InStyle magazine; ‘To be honest I coped in public and crumbled in private’.
Despite putting on a united front and sticking by the footballer, the pair eventually split in that same year.
‘It’s growth, it’s life. They say a good sailor would never be a good sailor if he hadn’t experienced a rough sea,’ she reflects.
The Girls Aloud singer explained how friends who had criticised her choice to stay with her cheating hubby, later changed their minds.
‘It’s funny – those who didn’t understand my actions at the time have now had that happen to them and they get it.’
‘A friend of mine told me her husband was having an affair and she said; I understand everything that must have been going through your head.’
‘But what I will never understand in how you had to face the world.’
When Cheryl and Ashley married in 2006, the pair were dubbed the new ‘Posh and Becks’, with a lavish ceremony and the notorious Lottery adverts.
Last year Cheryl revealed to The Times magazine that she struggled to get of bed in the wake of the scandal; ‘I was borderline. I was walking crazyville. I had no fire in my belly. I didn’t feel passionate any more, just a bit dead.’
In her autobiography she spoke of the moment she knew something was wrong in their marriage – when Ashley made her a cup of tea.
'He hardly ever made tea and I sensed something was off …he’d been acting weird all evening.'
The nation’s sweetheart didn’t have to wait long to confirm her gut feeling; ‘Ashley was flapping while on the phone to his agent, then my rep called her to say a paper was going to print a story about his infidelity.’
Five years on, Cheryl is now Mrs Fernandez-Versini after marrying French restaurateur Jean-Bernard in a secret ceremony on the island of Mustique.