After losing his mum Julie earlier this month, Simon Cowell has opened up about the heartache he has suffered. The X Factor judge revealed that his 89-year-old mother had been unwell for some months, but that he never spoke about it in public because he didn't want to "burden" anyone with his problem.
Simon, 55, took two days off The X Factor to grieve, but the music mogul went straight back to holding auditions to find the nation's next pop star.
Speaking backstage at the London auditions, Simon said: "She had been ill for a very long time. It really happened last year and it was a tough period."
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Simon Cowell's mum Julie had been ill for nine months
"I did not want to burden anyone else with my problem," he added to The Sun. "That’s why I never talked about it. In a way that was the hardest part because it was always on my mind.
"But look, I experienced it with my dad and the only thing I can say is that I have incredible memories."
Simon's mother Julie, who was a big fan of her son's shows, passed away at the beginning of July, leaving the music mogul devastated and heartbroken. Speaking about his quick return to work, Simon said: "It sounds corny but it's exactly what she wanted me to do because she loved what I did."
The music mogul explained his quick return to work, saying his mum would have wanted him to
The Lambeth-born star and his fellow judges Rita Ora, Nick Grimshaw and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini have kicked off this year's X Factor auditions, and Simon has been putting on a brave face in public. Geordie beauty Cheryl, who is close friends with Simon, spoke of her co-star's strength.
"I don't know how he's coping," the 32-year-old told The Sunday People. "I've always admired his strength and tenacity but now I have a whole new level of respect and love for him. He has that British stiff upper lip."
Taking to Twitter at the time of Julie's death, Simon reached out to his 12.3 million followers and wrote: "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"