A seven-year-old race-related assault conviction could dash English songbird Cheryl Cole’s hopes of obtaining a work permit and joining Simon Cowell on the American adaptation of the TV talent show X Factor panel.
Cole, who already works as a judge on the UK version of the singing show has been offered a job as a pundit on the US X Factor.
“Cheryl was the first one to be told and verbally offered the job and she is very excited. She likes America and loves the idea of launching herself there,” one insider revealed in a chat with Britain’s Daily Mail Wednesday.
But now it appears the one-time Girls Aloud crooner may not be able to join Simon Stateside after all, thanks to her conviction for assault seven years ago. Cole was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm back in 2003. A then 19-year-old Cheryl was charged with punching African-born bathroom attendant Sophie Amogbokpa in the face at Drinks Nightclub in Surrey. Cheryl hurled racial slurs and decked the club employee after the attendant refused to give the singer a lollipop.
The “Can’t Speak French” hitmaker was found guilty the following October and sentenced to 120 hours of community service and ordered to give Amogbokpa $250 in punitive damages.
US law mandates that all previous convictions must be disclosed on visa application forms, and Brits are buzzing about whether Cheryl’s lollipop throwdown will affect her chance of landing a work visa.
Cole’s reported deal appeared to cast doubt on whether there would also be a place for fan fave Nicole Scherzinger, but it appears that the Pussycat Doll is still being courted by producers.
“The US team want both women going up against each other.”
We’ll know soon enough.
Production on FOX’s The X Factor is expected to get underway in May.