Harry Styles of “X Factor” U.K. boy band One Direction has made headlines for saying “I love cougars” (women who date much younger men) and for saying that he’s open to dating women who are up to his mother’s age. Now, 18-year-old Styles has been romantically linked to a yet another older woman: former “X Factor” Australia judge Natalie Imbruglia, who is 37.
Styles and Imbruglia supposedly hooked up after flirting at the wedding of mutual friend James Corden, who got married in a star-studded ceremony on September 15, 2012. According to the Daily Mirror’s Clemmie Moodie:
“Despite that age gap, they spent a lively night together, chatting and giggling, during the lavish reception party at Babington House, near Frome in Somerset. As they mingled with other guests – who included diver Tom Daley, David Walliams, Jimmy Carr and Kylie Minogue – some remarked on how well-suited they were for each other.
“It’s unclear how cozy they got but I hear that they both stayed at the hotel overnight and happened to arrive at breakfast together the following morning. I also understand that when they entered the room, sheepish Harry blushed with embarrassment as he was greeted by a series of whoops and cheers from friends.
“A source tells me: ‘Everyone was talking about how Harry was really smitten with Natalie. They got on like a house on fire and were clearly very into each other. The next morning Harry was given a grilling by the other guests. He was overheard telling one that he thinks Natalie is an amazing woman.'”
Imbruglia’s biggest hit, “Torn,” was the first song that One Direction performed together as a group. “Torn” also became part of One Direction’s set list for the group’s concert tours in 2011 and 2012. When One Direction performed “Torn” at the group’s iTunes Festival concert in London on September 20, 2012, Styles’ best friend Nick Grimshaw (a BBC Radio 1 DJ) tweeted: “They are doing a cover of Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. LOLLLLZZZZ.” Since One Direction has done “Torn” numerous times in concert, Grimshaw’s tweet seems to imply that doing the song at that show (which was One Direction’s first full-length concert since July 2012) has a new significance since the band previously performed the song.
Imbruglia was a guest judge at “X Factor” U.K. auditions in 2010, and she was one of the judges who gave a “yes” vote to One Direction’s Liam Payne, before he and the other members of One Direction were put together in a group by Simon Cowell and other “X Factor” decision makers. One Direction came in third place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010, and the group has since become the biggest global act to emerge from “The X Factor.”
Styles’ attraction to older women has been well-documented. He has previously been romantically linked to “The Xtra Factor” co-host Caroline Flack, who is 15 years older than he is. Flack and Styles dated from October 2011 to February 2012. Styles said on Twitter that he and Flack broke up by a “mutual decision.”
Before he and Flack hooked up, Styles allegedly had a fling in 2011 with radio DJ Lucy Horobin, who is 15 years older than Styles. Horobin was married at the time she and Styles had their alleged fling. After news of the alleged affair hit the tabloids in 2012, Horobin and her husband split up. Sources told the tabloids that when Horobin and Styles had their fling, she had lied to Styles by telling him she was separated from her husband when in fact she was still married to him.
Styles has been described by his band mates as the biggest flirt/ladies’ man in One Direction.
Imbruglia , who is divorced with no kids, was married to Silverchair lead singer Daniel Johns from 2003 to 2008. In an interview for the 2012 biography “Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell,” Cowell (who has never been married and does not have children) admitted to having a fling with Imbruglia long after her marriage ended. Although Cowell, 52, did not say when his affair with Imbruglia happened, it is believed to have happened sometime between 2008 and 2010. Cowell also said in the book that he tried to have a fling again with Imbruglia in late 2011, but she refused.
Imbruglia and Styles have not commented on their alleged fling, but if it happened, it appears to be a one-night stand. On September 19, 2012, Imbruglia was photographed on a date in London with an unidentified middle-aged man, who was affectionately holding her hand as they exited the Groucho club.
In an August 2012 interview with the Herald Sun (an Australian newspaper), Imbruglia said that she has temporarily relocated from London to Los Angeles to jumpstart her acting career. She was a judge on “The X Factor” Australia for one season in 2010. She left the show because her contract was not renewed.