Is Simon Cowell QUITTING? Mogul turns his back on fame (but not fortune) to be a stay-at-home dad after selling his £45million Holland Park mansion and moving to the Oxfordshire countryside
He was once television’s Mr Saturday Night and rarely out of the headlines.
During The X Factor’s heyday, when the show was watched by more than 14million viewers, Simon Cowell dined with celebrity pals at some of Mayfair’s finest restaurants, where there would always be paparazzi waiting to snap him on his way out.
So keen was he to be in the spotlight, he would invite editors to his west London mansion for a curry or a spin in his Maserati.
But after selling the £45 million Holland Park home this month, in favour of life in the Oxfordshire countryside, Cowell is edging towards retiring from showbiz. The Mail on Sunday can also reveal that his fiancee, Lauren Silverman, has taken over the reins of his once hugely successful entertainment company, Syco, running it with very little input from him.
Those who know Cowell, 63, also say that he rarely sees his famous friends, with the exception of Amanda Holden, whose husband Chris Hughes signed him to the YMU talent agency last year. It was Ms Silverman, 46, who orchestrated that deal.
Simon Cowell (L) and Lauren Silverman attend the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards 2022 at The Hilton Park Lane on November 21, 2022
Those who know Cowell, 63, also say that he rarely sees his famous friends, with the exception of Amanda Holden, whose husband Chris Hughes signed him to the YMU talent agency last year
While he is still a judge on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, alongside Ms Holden, Cowell has no other television commitments and wants to spend more time with his nine-year-old son Eric who he ‘totally dotes on.’ He is also said to have reflected on life after falling off an e-bike at his California home in 2020 – an accident he said he was lucky to survive. He broke his back and underwent six hours of surgery.
One source said: ‘It’s like Simon has totally changed his direction of travel. He was once so keen to be in the papers that he could barely go for a walk without it being on the front of the tabloids. Now he has slunk off into obscurity – he won’t even tell anyone where he lives.
‘He wanted to be talked about and written about, but all of a sudden he doesn’t want to be in the limelight any more. He just wants to be at home with Eric while Lauren runs what is left of his business.
‘The harem of women has gone, as has Louis Walsh. Now it’s just Amanda. He will sometimes see others, such as Alan Carr and Alesha Dixon, through her. Nobody can work out what has happened here – he went from being so in need of fame to hating it.’
In January last year, Cowell decided to downsize Syco and get rid of the majority of his staff. Those close to the star, who launched the company as a record label in 2004, said at the time that he planned to concentrate solely on being a television personality.
However, his ITV talent show Walk The Line was axed after one series, and sources at the network say the relationship between ITV and Cowell has dwindled.
Simon Cowell shows the broken arm he suffered in a bicycle injury last week as he and his partner, Lauren Silverman, leave their home in London’s Holland Park
Simon Cowell and David Walliams during Britain’s Got Talent
Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ TV Show, Series 16, The Final
During his time as a judge on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, he certainly has enjoyed his fair share of dara. Pictured: Sharon Osbourne throwing a drink over Louis Walsh
They add that some years ago the broadcasting company moved towards ‘kinder’ reality shows such as The Masked Singer, and away from Cowell’s programmes. His shows have recently been dogged by controversy. His former Britain’s Got Talent co-star David Walliams was heard calling an auditioning pensioner a ‘c***’, and making a sexually explicit remark about a female contestant during filming. The comments were leaked last year.
Cowell is also said to be upset by the accounts of a raft of X Factor stars who have spoken about their time on the show.
Singer Lucy Spraggan revealed earlier this month that she was raped at a hotel while taking part in the programme in 2012, and was unimpressed by the lack of aftercare offered by the show following her rapist’s trial.
Misha B, a contestant from the 2011 series, said she was left feeling suicidal and suffering from PTSD after experiencing racist treatment on the show.
Katie Waissel, a 2010 contestant, claims she was sexually assaulted by a member of Cowell’s staff in Los Angeles years after appearing on The X Factor.
A source close to Cowell said: ‘Simon thought that he was giving people great opportunities on The X Factor. He had no idea that some of these allegations would come out so many years later.’
Currently, the only other known deal he has is an advertising one for a mobile puzzle game called Royal Match. He filmed an advert for it earlier this month, which will be aired in the autumn.
One source said: ‘It does seem as though Simon’s life in music and television is very much coming to an end.’
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