SIMON COWELL TALKS TO MARK JEFFERIES IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW FOR THE DAILY MIRROR
Simon Cowell: I regret affair with Lauren Silverman - but am so happy with what came out of it
The Britain's Got Talent and X Factor boss opens up about being in a a committed relationship, having a child and enjoying a life of bog standard normality
He looked like the man who had it all – money, power, success, and a bevy of beauties at his beck and call. But behind closed doors, all was not as it seemed for Simon Cowell.
“Did a doctor say I was depressed? Yeah. I mean I knew it myself,” he now admits.
For long periods in 2013 the 54-year-old spent weeks alone in his LA home, working through the night and stressing about how to make The X Factor a hit in the US.
He confesses: “You are always looking for the next high from the show and then actually if you haven’t got anyone to share it with per se, or if you haven’t got a family around you, you can go a bit nuts.”
And then, just as Simon was at his lowest ebb, a scandal erupted.
The fallout – which brought him everything he always swore he didn’t want – a committed relationship, a child, bog standard normality – saved his life.
In his first in-depth interview since the birth of his son Eric, he addresses the chaos that erupted when news broke of his affair with married Lauren Silverman.
HIS FIRST IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW SINCE THE BIRTH OF HIS SON ERIC - 8TH APRIL 2014
He says: “In a weird way I probably needed that, I really did.
"You can start to live a slightly abnormal life and there is no question of doubt I was heading down that path. Too many late-night phone calls.
"Too obsessed with things.”
Simon has had many girlfriends but now, finally, it appears he has found a partner.
He smiles: “The great thing about Lauren is she loves what I do, so she sits in if I am watching Britain’s Got Talent for example, and she has got a good opinion. And I seem to have got my mojo back again.”
Simon’s life was turned upside down at the end of July 2013 when news broke of Lauren’s pregnancy after an on-off affair over several years.
The media attention was magnified by the fact that she was married to Andrew Silverman at the time – a close friend of Simon’s.
“I regret that part,” says Simon.
“But then of course you have a baby and you look at the baby and you kinda go ‘this is what happened from it’.
“In this situation you are not going to come out of this well because of the circumstances.
“It is not something I am proud of or wanted to happen in terms of hurting anyone.
“It just happened.
"You have to deal with it and man up to it. You have to accept the responsibility and the criticism.
"All I can say is, my advice to you is if it happens to you, you just have to deal with it a day at a time and own up to your responsibilities.”
Ahead of the start of the new series of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV this weekend, show boss Simon is talking frankly in his London Syco office, featuring white leather walls – as it has done for some years.
A new addition is a portrait of himself made from discarded hole punch circles of paper.
Beautiful cut-glass ashtrays are also on hand, and are changed by a PA at the end of each of his three menthol cigarettes.
While the office remains the same as when we last spoke there two years ago, everything else in his life could not be more different.
Baby Eric, named after Simon’s father, was born on February 14. Simon and Lauren, 36, now live together, along with dogs Squiddly and Diddly.
His West London mansion used to look like a bare hotel reception but it is now awash with baby bottles and dog baskets – and surprisingly Simon is embracing the madness.
He says: “My life has changed, but I am probably more focused on what I am doing now than I was a year ago.
"Maybe because it puts things in perspective having two people in my life who I am responsible for.
“There were times last year when I would live in two rooms, y’know kitchen and bedroom in your house.
"It is a weird existence when you live on your own. On the phone all night, blah blah blah.
"Now the house is full of people, it has become a home rather than a house.”
This is the same Simon Cowell who previously disliked having guests unless they came at allotted times.
Like the rest of his life, he was a control freak about his social life and spent the majority of his time getting up at lunchtime, working or spending time in the bath or gym.
His phone has also been switched off for most of the last month outside of office hours, and he seems much calmer.
He has even taken to doing the night feed, cuddling Eric while working on the US side of his business.
Simon says: “There is something about the noise of people around you that maybe triggers something back to when you were a kid in my house.
"That is probably what I am going through and why I am embracing it so easily. Eric doesn’t cry much, he’s as good as gold.
"He’s beginning to recognise my voice and things like that.
“Everyone said ‘it must be turning your life upside down’ but I love it. The dogs are mad and Lauren is not exactly the most quiet person in the world.”
The other women in his life also seem to be happy again. Pal Sinitta said in September she felt “betrayed” that he was having a baby with another woman.
She suggested she had an abortion when dating him in the 80s.
Of her abortion claims, he looks uncomfortable and says: “I can’t really go there. We have always been close and always will be close. Things are back to normal.
"It is a happy ending.”
Thankfully it seems all his exes – who he still holidays with on his yacht – have got used to his new life.
Among those at the launch of his X Factor musical I Can’t Sing! last month were Terri Seymour and Mezhgan Hussainy.
He says: “They probably thought I was going to become a different person, but the truth is nothing changed.
"We are still friends, Sinitta is a godmother, Mezhgan came over recently. Terri was there the other night.
"Can we all go on holiday on the yacht? Why not.”
But the woman in his life who is probably happiest right now is his mum Julie. She had given up hope of having a grandchild from Simon and was emotional the first time she met the baby, especially as Eric is named after her late husband.
Simon says: “She never thought at my age I would be turning up at Brighton with a grandson called Eric. She would never have predicted it.
"We were teasing people about the name being Simon.
"Eric seemed the more obvious choice. Even though Lauren had never met my dad she knew my relationship with him was very strong and she felt quite passionately that he should be named after my dad.
"I thought that was sweet. We told my mum before anyone else.”
And one day there may be more good news for Julie. As I am politely ushered out of his office, there is just time to ask if Eric could have a brother or sister.
Simon says: “I wouldn’t rule anything out. From here on in I am not predicting anything.
"The important thing this year is we have fun with what we are doing.”
He then tells me to “wait and see” when I ask if he will wed Lauren.
No one would have thought it 12 months ago, but maybe this new version of Simon Cowell is the marrying kind after all...
SOURCE: The Mirror