Where premiership footballers are concerned, infidelity is pretty much par for the course. If only their wives and girlfriends would wake up and realise this. Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch and John Terry were the latest spate to have been caught out, their stories splashed all over the media. Their unsuspecting partners were pictured looking bereft and foolish. Yet instead of just walking away (like any self-respecting woman should), at least two of them are still with their partners. Luckily Cheryl had the sense to leave Ashley.
This time it's the turn of Coleen Rooney to walk down that lonely road. She is naturally distraught after finding out last week that Wayne cheated on her with a prostitute while she was pregnant with their son Kai. Wayne reportedly admitted sleeping with 21-year-old prostitute Jenny Thompson seven times over four months last summer, paying £1,200 each time for the privilege. Grounds for divorce? Absolutely.
Friends of mine who have experienced their partners straying just once have had a hard time forgiving them. Surely the fact that this is the second time Wayne has been linked to prostitutes (remember the rubber catsuit-wearing grandmother back in 2004?) makes it all the more impossible for Coleen?
Coleen was just 16 when she took Wayne back the first time but six years on, she's older and wiser - surely she won't make the same mistake again? Their family members certainly hope not. Coleen's father is reportedly terrified at the thought she may take him back for the sake of their 10-month-old son Kai. He has supposedly barred Wayne from ever visiting, saying: "He is never, ever setting foot in this house again." Meanwhile, Wayne's cousin Natalie Rooney has spoken out, advising Coleen to ditch him, saying: "Just bag him and bin him, Coleen. You deserve a million times better. Not someone who treats you like dirt while he's out sleeping with dirt."
She has a point. But of course, for Coleen, the situation is unlikely to be as cut and dry. Having been with Wayne since her school days, she was there for him well before he landed his dream job as a footballer at 17. They were childhood sweethearts and she's often referred to him as her best friend. Yet, despite the fact that she must love him, as many women who have experienced their partners' multiple infidelities will know, leaving him is the best thing she can do.
This time round, the scandal is too big, the damage has been done. By staying, Coleen will undoubtedly set herself up for more heartbreak. And as for little Kai, surely she'd be better off showing him that she, as a woman deserves respect, and that this kind of behaviour is not okay. That staying with a premiership footballer who wouldn't know the meaning of the word fidelity if it came up and slapped him round the face is not the right thing to do.
As tough as it may seem to her now, the truth is that Coleen will pull through. If anything, it's Wayne who will come off worse should they divorce - lawyers have said he could lose £100 million if the sponsors who rely on his family image snub him. Coleen, on the other hand, only stands to gain. As the face of Argos and Littlewoods, she's practically a brand in her own right and is currently in talks with ITV2 to present her own TV show Real Women.
Financially, she is estimated to have earned £10million from TV, book and advertising deals. And PR guru Max Clifford predicted she could double that over the next five years by becoming a pundit - commenting on WAGs, footballers and their relationships. It may sound clichéd, but at 24, she's got her whole life ahead of her.
Speaking about the first time he was unfaithful to her in 2002 Wayne said: "It was at a time when I was young and immature and before I had settled down with Coleen. But according to The Sun, a source close to him gives the impression that he doesn't even seem to care: "Wayne is not prepared to take any s*** off the wife and her family," the source said. "If she can't handle it and it's over, so be it." Seems he thinks he can pretty much do what the hell he likes because they'd all be nothing without him.
Nice guy, hey? If this doesn't make Coleen wake up and smell the coffee, I don't know what will. This just reiterates my view that footballers (especially of the premier league variety) are overrated, arrogant and should be avoided by women at all costs. The clubs that throw money at these spoilt brats are guilty of turning them into egotistical maniacs incapable of having committed and fulfilling relationships.
They've become way too big for their studded football boots and it's about time women (yes, Coleen, that's you included) should take a stand against these toe rags instead of treating them like the demi-gods they think they are. Should you ever stay with a cheating ex? Rarely. And in the world of premiership footballers, never.
By: Naomi Reilly
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