Leona Lewis has defended women who go out with younger men.
The British singer doesn't understand why so-called 'cougars' receive so much criticism, when most men are applauded for the same set-up.
Earlier this year, the 27-year-old Trouble star was linked to One Direction hunk Liam Payne, who is eight years her junior.
"We're just friends, we've got the same management. He's really sweet," she explained while dismissing speculation about their relationship in a new interview with the UK edition of Marie Claire. "There's nothing to talk about because we're not together, but it's weird how it's OK for men but for women it's like, 'What are you doing?' Why don't we try and empower each a bit more rather than nit-picking. It's great for women to go out with younger men."
Leona added that she has had to learn to embrace spending time on her own.
The star split from her dancer boyfriend Dennis Jauch in September after two years together.
"I definitely like being in a relationship but being single right now has taught me a lot - it doesn't matter who's in your life as long as you're good with yourself and can be alone," she revealed. "I found living alone really daunting at first."
Earlier this month rumours surfaced that Leona and Dennis may have rekindled their romance after they were spotted holding hands in London.
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