In a surprisingly frank interview Simon Cowell revels in controversy, which is why he’ll happily sound off about Louis Walsh returning to The X Factor (‘if I had my way, he’d be on tomorrow’), becoming a father (‘I’m not a conventional dad, but then I’m not a conventional man’), pinching the wife of his friend (‘I can’t hold my head up about it’), fame (‘I could have become a monster’), and his legendary and undiminished vanity (‘I’m still handsome, I’ve still got it’).
Speaking about when he first found out he was to become a father, Simon Cowell says he vividly recalls the moment he was told that the then Mrs Silverman was pregnant with his son.He admits it was not planned and reveals that he only found out when an assistant called him out of a meeting saying his girlfriend needed to speak to him urgently.
At the time, in 2013, it was a mess. A PR nightmare, in fact. Lauren was the wife of his friend, the American businessman Andrew Silverman, the father of her son Adam.
He nods: ‘I’m not proud of the circumstances. I can’t hold my head up about it. But we have all moved on.’
He says: ‘This was not something I planned. But I remember going to the first scan with Lauren. ‘I called him Tad because he looked like a tadpole. Something just kicked in. I felt unbelievably protective of both of them.
"I just absolutely wanted him. I just hadn’t known that before.’In the exclusive, interview with Event Magazine Simon admits that fatherhood has changed him out of all recognition, and provides touching insights into his new family life.
Though Lauren, is now divorced, Cowell won’t be drawn on any wedding plans, and the multi-millionaire says he is not a ‘conventional dad’ to 21-month-old Eric, partly because he is ‘not a conventional man’.He doesn’t change nappies or prepare feeds but is clearly devoted. He says: ‘I adore my son. We make each other laugh. We play with the dogs. I’ve taught him to share, to say please and thank you. Whatever he has he offers it to me.
Talking about the death of his mother earlier this year he said she was a driving force in his career and someone he could always turn to for advice.
He refused to contemplate the thought of life without her even when doctors said she had just months to live. He says: ‘I wouldn’t listen. I kept saying right to the end that there was hope. And I wasn’t prepared for it. You know it all happened in my 50s. I have a son and then I lose my mother. It changes you.
I’m still going through it.’Cowell has an estimated fortune of more than £355 million but says he is more inclined to give it to good causes than leave it to his son. ‘I don’t like the idea you just sort of pass it down from generation to generation. I mean, I find that quite disgusting. No one ever gave me a penny and I believe part of my drive was to do with the fact I had nothing to lose. That gives you a lot of energy.
Talking about his rise to fame Simon said: ‘Look,’ he says, ‘the reality is I could have become a monster.
I remember being in my 20s and seeing guys in nightclubs in their 60s in ridiculous suits and thinking, “God, I hope that won’t be me,” and then…’ he trails off. ‘If I’d become a Hugh Hefner type, that would have been sad."
When asked whether the past decade of beautiful women and fast living was really rather hollow.
He takes a drag on his cigarette, purses his lips as he considers the question, and smiles. ‘I should say yes shouldn’t I? I wish I could say yes, but the truth is I’ve had an amazing time. Sorry, but I’ve always had a great time. I’ve been out with some amazing women.
Simon was photographed with Squiddly & Diddly to support the charity Cruelty Free International, which aims to raise awareness about the use of dogs in animal experiments.
Read the full interview in Event Magazine.
More photos of Squiddly & Diddly on their special page