Pop star Cheryl Cole has hit out at football supporters and others who have questioned the sexuality of her husband Ashley.

The Girls Aloud singer also revealed that Cole is accosted by strangers in the street asking him if he is gay, and that the speculation about her partner upsets her.

The 23-year-old was known as Cheryl Tweedy until her marriage to the Chelsea player last year.

She is quoted by contactmusic.com as saying, “At first I laughed my head off because the suggestion was so ridiculous. But Ashley wasn’t laughing.

“I was there for him when people had a go at him in the street or asked if he was gay.

“He says it doesn’t hurt him when stuff is said but deep down I know it must do.

“To be honest, it’s more devastating for me than it is for him because I love him and I know what he’s going through.”

Last June, Cole received an apology and damages from the News of the World and The Sun following a series of newspaper articles that wrongly claimed him to have been involved in a gay orgy.

The tabloids published a series of articles between the 12th and 19th of February 2006 accompanied with pixellated photographs of Mr Cole and the radio DJ Masterstepz (Ian Thompson) although neither party were named.

The following week, PinkNews.co.uk published an unedited version of the photographs that confirmed that the newspapers were alleging that Mr Cole and Mr Thompson were the parties involved in the alleged orgy.

Following the publication of the photographs on PinkNews.co.uk, Mr Cole and Mr Thompson began legal action against the News of the World and the Sun but not against PinkNews.co.uk.

Both Cole and DJ Masterstepz have received an apology and damages for the stories from News Group.

Cole has faced homophobic abuse and bitter terrace chants from Arsenal fans since signing for Chelsea on August 31st last year.

Last month it was reported that sections of the travelling Arsenal fans are allegedly being encouraged by supporter’s website, Arsenal World, to take their “revenge” on Cole by printing fake banknotes with the defender superimposed as the Queen, and by carrying blow-up mobile phones in reference to tabloid rumours about a gay orgy involving the player.