Cheryl Cole’s romance with Derek Hough is a hoax?

1 August 2010 - Beverly Hills, California - Derek Hough. Disney ABC Television Summer TCA Party 2010 held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. Photo Credit: Byron Purvis/AdMedia

Cheryl Cole’s friend Amir Khan says her romance with dancer Derek Hough is a hoax.

The boxer claims the pair are pretending to be in a relationship to ward off the paparazzi.

Amir, 23, told Grazia magazine: “I had dinner with Cheryl and Derek in LA last week. He’s not her boyfriend. They’re not going out. It’s all just a cover-up to keep photographers at bay.”

In recent months, following Cheryl’s split from her love-rat husband Ashley Cole, there has been much speculation about whether she and Derek, 25, are more than friends.

But when the US star remained by the 26-year-old’s side during her malaria battle and was pictured constantly with the Geordie in LA it seemed a romance was on, despite the two never been seen holding hands or kissing.

And last week X Factor choreographer Brian Friedman called them a “lovely couple”, while Cheryl’s X Factor protégée Joe McElderry described Derek as her “rock” and said he was perfect for her.

But Amir says the pair are just friends and added that Cheryl wouldn’t move to America for Derek – saying she’ll only go Stateside if she gets a contract to become a judge on the US X Factor.