(AP) Unauthorized biography spills Simon Cowell secrets
By JILL LAWLESS
He gets colonic irrigations, Botox injections and vitamin drips, and insists on black toilet paper in his home.
A revealing new biography offers intimate _ some might say too intimate _ details about Simon Cowell, along with a portrait of the entertainment mogul’s savvy business side.
His latest portrait of power centers on the tanned and brush-cut Cowell, 52, who has gained fame in both Britain and North America as producer and an acerbic judge on TV talent shows including “The X Factor” and “America’s Got Talent.”
Bower says he became fascinated by the story of a middle-aged music producer who struck gold by turning the old-fashioned talent contest into a slick 21st-century phenomenon _ and in the process earned a fortune estimated at 200 million pounds ($320 million) by the Sunday Times Rich List.
The book paints a picture of a man who struggled for years in the music business, spurred on to success out of a desire to prove his detractors wrong.
But he says Cowell told some friends and associates not to talk to him. Writing the book became “a cat and mouse game” between him and his subject.
Cowell has stressed that the book was not written with his approval, tweeting: “This book is not written by me. It is unauthorized. The writer is Tom Bower.”
Cowell can’t have enjoyed the revelations in The Sun tabloid, which has been serializing the more salacious bits of Bower’s book.
Among the details: Cowell gets regular colonic irrigations because “it’s so cleansing _ and it makes my eyes shine brighter.” He is put on a drip of vitamins and nutrients for a half hour each week.
He’s not gay, despite long-standing rumors. The book reveals bedroom secrets including a brief affair with former “X Factor” judge Danii Minogue. But Bower says that Cowell isn’t interested in serious relationships.
He is, however, generous. Bower says Cowell gave his ex-fiance Mezhgan Hussainy, a makeup artist on “American Idol,” a $5 million Beverly Hills house as a parting gift. Most of his exes have refrained from spilling the beans in the media.
While Britain’s tabloids have focused on Cowell’s sex life, Bower is more interested in the story of money and power, of “business rivalry and the skullduggery.”
At the heart of the book is Cowell’s feud with fellow svengali and former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller. The pair fell out over the 2001 British musical talent-show, “Pop Idol,” progenitor of “American Idol.” Fuller was listed as creator of the show despite what Cowell said was a verbal agreement to split the credit.
A legal battle between the two men was settled out of court, with Fuller getting the creator credit for “Idol” _ though Bower says he found “overwhelming” evidence that Cowell played a vital role.
Bower said Cowell was “naive and humiliated by Fuller’s dexterity.”
He said Cowell became “incensed” by the “created by Simon Fuller” credit on “Pop Idol” and “American Idol,” and vowed to create his own rival show.
The result was singing competition “X Factor,” which had its debut in Britain in 2004 and in the U.S. last fall. Cowell also created “Britain’s Got Talent” and executive produces its U.S. spinoff, “America’s got Talent.”
Cowell’s response to the book, published in Britain on Friday, is so far unknown.
Publicist Max Clifford _ who says Cowell pays him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to keep stories out of the press _ said he had advised Cowell not to speak to Bower, because it would undo years of carefully protected privacy.
Bower, though, thinks the book’s portrait of Cowell is fairly positive.
While Bower has been openly hostile to some of his previous subjects _ he called Gordon Brown a ruthless bully and Conrad Black a crook _ he has a soft spot for Cowell.
Jill Lawless can be reached at: http://twitter.com/JillLawless