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Simon apologises at book launch

Simon Cowell has apologised to anyone his unauthorised biography has "embarrassed".

The 52-year-old 'X Factor' boss spent last week "hiding under a pillow" as extracts from the sensational book by journalist Tom Bower were published - including claims he had a fling with fellow judge Dannii Minogue and wanted to sleep with third judge Cheryl Cole.

Simon Cowell poses at the "National Television Awards" at the Royal Albert Hall in London in this October 31, 2007 file photograph. Cowell bids farewell to "American Idol" next week, leaving a litany of stinging put-downs, an assortment of black and white T-shirts and big shoes to fill on what began in 2002 as a summer talent contest and became America's most watched TV show. Photo: REUTERS/Anthony Harvey/Files. Credit: REUTERS

The book also tells how he wanted to sack Gary Barlow from the show for being "too scripted", and how he deemed his ill-fated engagement to make-up artist Mezghan Hussainy to be a "big mistake".

Despite co-operating with the author, Simon insists he had no idea what would be included in the final copy, and has expressed his regret for shaming anyone.

Turning up for the launch of the book at the Serpentine Gallery in London, he said: "I wish to publicly apologise to anyone I embarrassed. I do have to apologise to members of my family.

"Ten years ago if I had read someone would be writing a book about me saying I made loads of money and shagged loads of girls I would have said, 'Great!'

"I spent the week hiding under a pillow and I couldn't bear to look at The Sun [newspaper]. I knew it was bad because friends were sending me sweet messages saying, 'Are you OK?'"

However, he remains on good terms with the writer and even joked: "It's like the Stockholm Syndrome. You're kidnapped and you start to like him.

"I've got some big news. I'm not going to do TV for a year - I'm going to write a book. It's going to be called 'The Sordid Sex Life of Tom Bower'." - Bang Showbiz

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