The X Factor judge has cut back on his social life to concentrate on his family
Simon Cowell and his famous harem’s annual trip to Barbados had become as much of a tradition as mince pies and Father Christmas. Every year without fail we’ve been treated to snaps of a bare-chested Simon along with his pack of beautiful exes – until now. As our well-placed source exclusively tells us: ‘The harem is officially over.’
The 55-year-old has famously surrounded himself with his ex-partners including Sinitta, Jackie St Clair, Mezhgan Hussainy and Terri Seymour for years, with the group regularly hanging out together on his luxury 196ft yacht the Slipstream in the Mediterranean or at his plush property One Sandy Lane in Barbados.
But since his partner Lauren Silverman gave birth to their son Eric on Valentine’s Day last year, Simon’s priorities have changed. And that means leaving Jackie, ex-fiancée Mezhgan and the rest of the girls freezing in England while he jets off to the Caribbean in December.
Our source says: ‘I don’t think you’ll see that group of friends together again. There’ll be no more Barbados trips. Everything’s changed for him – including who he spends his time with.’
The X Factor judge sent a clear message that his playboy days are well and truly over when he holidayed on the party island of Ibiza with just Lauren, 39, and their 18-month-old son Eric last month. And last week at his company Syco’s annual end-of-summer bash at Kensington Palace, most of the girls were absent, with only Sinitta attending. Simon and Lauren instead spent the evening with work colleagues Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Caroline Flack.
‘This is a massive difference compared to Simon’s previous situation,’ reveals our source. ‘It shows how much being a dad has changed him – and it demonstrates his respect for Lauren. ‘Simon knows The X Factor now takes up half his year, so he wants quality time with Lauren and Eric on their breaks, away from all the madness and chaos of the show.
Lauren also divides her time between London and New York to spend time with her nine-year-old son Adam by her ex-husband Andrew. Simon feels he should be giving Lauren and Eric his undivided attention instead of jumping onto yachts with his exes like he’s done in previous years.
‘He’s made Lauren his priority and, understandably, she doesn’t enjoy that lifestyle any more. It must have been awkward for her being surrounded by Si’s exes.’
Obviously Simon’s new priorities haven’t gone down well with the women who were such a big part of his life for so many years. ‘The girls aren’t happy,’ says our source. ‘They feel they’ve been pushed to the side.
Before Simon and Lauren got together, Lauren was happily one of the harem, too. Of course he’s had a baby and life is different now but none of them expected it to change so much.
‘It was a shock for Simon when he found out he was going to be a dad. It wasn’t an ideal situation as Lauren was still married to Andrew, but they all rallied around him. They’d all been friends for years.
‘People just don’t see him any more. Jackie’s gone. Mezhgan’s gone, Terri’s gone. The love boat has well and truly sunk – it’s over! It wasn’t at all what they wanted, but enough is enough.’
The only member of the group who seems to have maintained close ties is Sinitta, 52. ‘With Sinitta it’s a bit more complicated,’ says our insider. ‘She’ll probably still do judge’s houses with him for The X Factor but it’s unlikely you’ll see her in the studio as in previous years. Even last year, Lauren sat in the seat that Sinitta always had, just behind Simon right at the front. But as Simon is godfather to her kids Wilner and Magdalena and has been a big support to her through most of her life, it’s no surprise she’s still keen to save their friendship.’
Simon had always previously enjoyed being surrounded by beautiful women vying for his attention – and even admitted in Tom Bower’s biography Sweet Revenge that he played them off against each other. He said: ‘I want to be happy, have good people around me. I want to be free and I don’t want to be bored.
‘I’m attracted to crazy women. I encourage crazy behaviour and I make them crazy. I’m attracted to certain personalities who are difficult to control, so there are tantrums, tears and fights, which is all part of the drama. My life is really odd. Every girl wants to be number one and they’re very territorial. I like the fight because otherwise I’d have a dull group of girlfriends.’