The couple ended their four-year marriage after a host of rumours surrounding the Chelsea player's infidelity.
In the singer's book Cheryl: My Story, she writes: "People were telling me that Ashley was in an even worse state. 'Cheryl, it's terrifying,' one friend said, and what she described made it sound like Ashley was going through a mental breakdown.
"'He's literally talking nonsense, he's got a beard and he's smoking and drinking loads.' Somebody else told me that Ashley had said something like, 'I don't want to be here any more.'
"I didn't believe he was seriously suicidal, but I was relieved to also hear that the club was trying to get him some help."
Meanwhile, Cole is expected to start for the Three Lions in their rearranged 2014 World Cup qualifier against Poland this evening.