Simon Cowell has thanked fans for their well-wishes after the death of his beloved mother Julie, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 89. The X Factor judge returned to Twitter for the first time since his loss to write: "My family lost someone very special on Sunday. My Mum. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the kind messages received. Thank you. X."
Simon Cowell tweeted to thank fans for well-wishes following the death of his mother Julie
A spokesperson confirmed that Julie has passed away on Sunday. "Today our beloved mum Julie passed away. Anyone who had met her would know what a truly special and kind lady she was. We are heartbroken and will miss her terribly, but she is now at peace.
"We would like to thank the media for kindly respecting Julie's privacy throughout and we politely request continued privacy for the entire family at this particularly difficult time."
Julie, a former dancer, was a mother to four boys – Nicholas, Simon, Tony and Michael – and step-mother to John and June Cowell.
A friend of 55-year-old Simon's told the Sun that he is "absolutely devastated" by Julie's death. "His mum was the most beloved person in his life and they were incredibly close.
"But at least she got to see him settle down and start a family which was one of the great wishes of her life. Julie had been unwell for some time and she was in a home. But Simon and his brothers were in constant contact with her and the family remained very close.
Simon Cowell is mourning the death of his beloved mother Julie Cowell
"They had been paying regular visits to her bedside and it's been a Godsend that Simon hadn't had to do too much work in the US over the last year. He's completely heartbroken."
Following the sad news, filming for The X Factor was delayed by two days. It is now set to begin in Manchester on Wednesday, with Simon returning alongside fellow judges Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Rita Ora, as well as new presenters Olly Murs and Caroline Flack.