Simon Cowell is ready to talk about the recent exit of British pop singer Cheryl Cole from the judging panel for the U.S. version of Cowell’s “X Factor,” the Associated Press reports.
Among the revelations, Cowell said he did what he could to keep her on the upcoming Fox show but ultimately thought she would be happier back in the U.K. Cole, who previously had a regular job on the British version of “X Factor,” was "just not as happy as I’ve seen her on previous shows," Cowell told the news organization.
Cowell dismissed reports that Cole’s dismissal was because of a lack of chemistry with fellow judge Paula Abdul. He also said he regrets losing her, and possibly losing her friendship.
"I hate seeing her hurt,” Cowell says in the interview. “She’s one of–I hope–she’s one of my closest friends, and this was a decision we made which we thought would be beneficial to her, funny enough."
After she was booted from the U.S. show, an effort was made to restore her to her former gig on the U.K. version, Cowell said, but that effort ultimately failed. Then, according to Cowell, an attempt to get her back on the U.S. show also failed.
It became official early this week that Cole would be replaced on the U.S. “X Factor” by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.
Cole’s representatives didn’t respond to a request for comment, the piece says.