By BEN TODD
Judge's problem: The fact that Cheryl Cole - seen here with Simon Cowell on last weekend's X Factor - has an assault conviction may prevent her being granted a U.S. visa
Cheryl Cole’s American dream may be scuppered – as a result of an assault conviction seven years ago.
The Daily Mail told yesterday how Mrs Cole had landed a place on the judging panel of the U.S. version of the X Factor in a deal worth up to £3million.
However, now Mrs Cole’s American dream may be jeopardised by her conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) in 2003.
U.S. law states that all convictions - indeed, all arrests - have to be disclosed on visa application forms.
Some less serious offences may not affect work visas.
However, according to Susan McFadden - a partner with Gudeon and McFadden law firm who specialise in U.S. visa and immigration - in more serious cases an appeal to the U.S. authorities may be necessary.
If the conviction is for something that triggers ineligibility the person would have to appeal for a waive,' she said.
Miss McFadden added that her firm had been instructed by the U.S. embassy that with regards to more serious crimes it would depend on ‘facts regarding the conviction' before a decision is made.
However, she said this can lead to 'permanently ineligibility' from being allowed a U.S. work visa in certain cases.
Before she was the nation's sweetheart: Cheryl was found guilty of punching a woman at a nightclub in January 2003
Mrs Cole attacked Sophie Amogbokpa, a toilet attendant, at Drink nightclub in Guildford, Surrey in January 2003.
Victim: Sophie Amogbokpa, the toilet attendant who Cheryl was convicted of assaulting
In October that year, Mrs Cole was found guilty as assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
At the time, Mrs Cole – who had been catapulted to stardom the previous December after her band Girls Aloud emerged from TV show Popstars: The Rivals - was sentenced to 120 hours unpaid community service.
She was also ordered to Miss Amogbokpa £500 compensation and prosecution costs of £3,000.
Mrs Cole – who was 19 at the time - punched Miss Amogbokpa after she tried to stop the singer taking some lollipops.
Despite the shame, Mrs Cole’s career has since gone from strength to strength.
As well as achieving huge success with Girls Aloud, last year she launched a solo music career. She has since secured two No1 albums on her own.
She has also been a hugely successful judge on the X Factor.
As we said yesterday, on Saturday night Mrs Cole was officially offered the job as a judge on the US edition of the talent show.
The singer had already been in discussions to launch her music career in the U.S. next spring.
A show source said: 'When Cheryl goes to America she will also launch her music career there too.
Snapped: Cheryl Tweedy, as she was then, arriving for sentencing at Kingston Crown court in October 2003
'It's the next part of her big plan, she's an incredibly hard worker and she will definitely get a boost by appearing on the X Factor, which is set to be a sure-fire hit.'
X Factor Svengali Simon Cowell, 51, has revealed he plans to officially announce the judges for the U.S. version later this month.
Mrs Cole, who has an estimated £10million fortune, will earn £1.5million for this series of the X Factor - but will make up to twice as much from her U.S. television deal, as the budget for the show is considerably larger.
She is already accustomed to the U.S. lifestyle, having spent weeks in Los Angeles working on her music and spending time with her close friend Derek Hough as she recovered from malaria.
She was in California as her divorce from her footballer husband Ashley Cole was finalised in October.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Will Cheryl Cole's assault conviction prevent her from getting a green card and becoming U.S. X Factor judge?
By BEN TODD