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Cheryl Cole wins US X Factor payout

image captionCole is currently working on her fourth solo album

Pop star Cheryl Cole has won a payout from the producers of X Factor USA, who dropped her after filming just one episode in 2011.

The 30-year-old was reportedly removed from the show over fears viewers would not understand her Newcastle accent.

She sued producers Blue Orbit for $2.3m (£1.4m) for loss of earnings earlier this year.

The case has now been settled out-of-court, with the production company paying Cole an undisclosed sum.

Cole was replaced by Nicole Scherzinger in May 2011, after attending X Factor auditions in two US cities.

Her footage was used in the first hour of the show's premiere later that year, leaving some US critics confused.

The Chicago Tribune said Scherzinger was not "an obvious improvement", while the Los Angeles Times complimented Cole's "fabulous Geordie accent".


Producers never gave an official reason for her departure, but it transpired Cole had initially been signed up for two series of Simon Cowell's talent show.

image captionThe star sang at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012

According to legal papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the singer was promised a salary of $1.8m (£1.1m) for the first season, and an additional $2m (£1.2m) for the second.

The contract was a so-called "pay or play" deal, where the salary is payable, even if the star is let go.

In her legal case, Cole said she had been paid for the first series, but the rest of her salary was not forthcoming.

She was also not paid further expenses, including a $100,000 (£61,000) wardrobe allowance, a $25,000 (£15,000) allowance for her stylist, $15,000 (£9,200) per month for a hotel or apartment in L.A. and a $2,500 (£1,530) monthly living allowance.

Her legal case asked for the money, plus interest, legal fees and "further relief as the court may deem just and appropriate".

The singer's spokesman could not disclose details of the settlement but confirmed to the BBC: "Cheryl's dispute with Blue Orbit has been resolved amicably".

Blue Orbit did not make a comment.

Back in the studio

Cole has been out of the limelight since the end of Girls Aloud's 10th anniversary tour in March.

However, she recently returned to the studio to start work on her fourth album, which is due for release in 2014.

Cowell has also hinted he may invite the star to return to the British version of X Factor.

The music mogul has seen ratings fall for the US version of his talent show, with the prospect of cancellation looming at the end of its current run.

Speaking to the Metro last week, he hinted he would return to the panel on ITV, where the show has been extended for another three years.

"I will at some point," he said. "I still miss that, I mean that show is my baby and that last year we did which was the One Direction year was the most fun I've had - it was fantastic."

Of Cole, he said: "Cheryl and I patched up our differences a long time ago".

"I saw her recently, we speak a lot on the phone and text each other, and I think both of us would like the idea of working together again."

More on this story

  • Cheryl Cole is 'dropped by US X Factor'