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Nicole Scherzinger's former manager Jeff Haddad claims X Factor bosses only used Cheryl Cole to create hype around the US show.
The former Pussycat Doll was appointed months ago and the talent show had no intention of using Cheryl, according to Haddad.
'Nicole was always going to be on the judging panel and Cheryl was just being used as a cog in the wheel to cause hype and publicise the show,' he told Heat magazine.
'She was always a front runner for that job,' Haddad added.
'There seems to be a lot of suspiciously obvious press surrounding all this mess. It's all very transparent.'
Nicole's ex-manager also said claims that Cole's accent were the deciding factor in her exit were not true.
'I think Cheryl's accent never came into it - it was a cover up excuse,' he added. 'Americans are used to all sorts of accents and it would have worked in her favour, if anything.'
His comments come after he recently parted company with Nicole.