Image: Lauren Silverman and Simon Cowell earlier this year (Getty).
Admit it: back in 2013 when the news broke that Simon Cowell had an affair with his best friend’s wife and impregnated her, you couldn’t bring yourself to stop reading about it.
It was like the plot of a soap opera, made all the more compelling by the man at the centre of it: the famously straight-talking (some might say “arrogant”) X-Factor creator and talent show judge.
At the time, Cowell laid relatively low — unsurprising, given the harsh glare of the media spotlight was shining right at him — but now the 56-year-old has admitted he feels some remorse over his actions.
“I’m not proud of the circumstances, I can’t hold my head up about it,” he told the Mail on Sunday’s magazine Event.
Two years on Cowell is still with Lauren Silverman, the British socialite who had been married to his best friend, millionaire property developer Andrew Silverman. Their affair is believed to have begun in 2009, but became very public when the news of Lauren's pregnancy broke.
Cowell said the pregnancy was unplanned, but it's something that profoundly changed him.
"This was not something I planned. But I remember going to the first scan with Lauren ... I called [the unborn baby] Tad because he looked like a tadpole," Cowell, who doesn't have any other children, recalls.
Watch radio presenter Ben Fordham talking to Mamamia TV about becoming a dad for the first time. (Post continues after video.)
"Something just kicked in. I felt unbelievably protective of both of them. I just absolutely wanted him. I just hadn’t known that before."
The pair eventually welcomed their son Eric — named after Cowell's late father — on Valentine's Day in 2014. Cowell admits he's not a "conventional dad" because he's not a "conventional man".