Pop star Liam Payne raised eyebrows on Tuesday (16May17) when he casually referred to girlfriend Cheryl as his "wife" during a candid radio interview.
The One Direction star became a first-time father at the age of 23 in March (17), when fellow British singer Cheryl, 33, gave birth to a son named Bear Grey.
Multiple reports have suggested the couple, which began dating in late 2015, is quietly planning to make its relationship official and wed, and although there has been no news of an engagement, Liam made fans do a double take as he appeared on SiriusXM's Morning Mash Up show in New York City on Tuesday.
The slip-up emerged as he discussed having to spend time away from Cheryl and baby Bear to work on his new solo material in Los Angeles, where he recently indulged in local fast food chain In-N-Out Burger after dieting for a shirtless photo shoot.
"Afterwards, I was like, In-N-Out Burger, straightaway. Boom," Liam said. "I had two double-doubles, I had two of the fries, I had cheese fries, I had everything."
One of the hosts then joked the singer had actually relocated to California just so he could be near the popular eatery, prompting him to quip, "Yeah, exactly. I left my wife and child at home and was straight to In-N-Out Burger!"
His telling remark was not picked up on during the chat, but the comment has sparked speculation online suggesting Liam and Cheryl have already tied the knot in secret.
Representatives for the famously-private pair have yet to comment on the official status of the stars' relationship.
Liam and Cheryl first met when he auditioned for Britain's The X Factor talent show, on which she was a judge, back in 2008 - when he was just 14 years old. They confirmed their romance in early 2016 and officially announced they were expecting a baby this February (17).
If the wedding rumours are true, it will be Liam's first marriage, while Cheryl finalised her divorce from second husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini in October (16). She was also previously married to British soccer star Ashley Cole for four years until they divorced in 2010.