Britain's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan jumped to Susan Boyle's defence today, saying she has been in "floods of tears" this week as the pressures of fame have taken hold.
Morgan said red-hot favourite Boyle had been suffering from "almost crippling" nerves, and called for people to back off.
The finalist lost her temper in the lobby of the Wembley Plaza Hotel in north London after being "wound up" by two strangers.
Police stationed at the hotel intervened in the situation.
Boyle, 48, was photographed talking to two police officers in the car park following the incident.
A spokesman for Boyle said: "The police were escorting a journalist from the premises who had been winding Susan up. Susan and her sister were talking to the police telling them what had happened."
Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC 97.3 radio, Morgan described the church volunteer as "an incredibly sweet, nice, gentle person who has been propelled through this show.
"Suddenly, a month later, she's the biggest star on the planet and I don't say that lightly...
"Anybody who has gone through that incredible transformation is going to be feeling the most unbelievable pressure, not least of which because the final is on Saturday and she knows that everything may rest on that one performance and you could see the nerves almost crippling her on the semi-final show and I just think it's time that everyone slightly backed off...
"Knowing her as I do, she's been incredibly upset this week. She's been in floods of tears."
Boyle, from Blackburn, West Lothian, dubbed the Hairy Angel, was propelled into the spotlight following her audition for the ITV talent show, singing I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Miserables.
She went on to become a global internet sensation, scoring millions of hits on video site YouTube and gaining celebrity support including that of Hollywood star Demi Moore.
Morgan said talk of Boyle's hotel outburst had been "massively exaggerated...
"She is getting this ferocious attention and my heart does go out to her a bit.
"She is really upset about all this and apparently she's really upset that she may have offended me.
"You know what, Susan, all you have to concentrate on now is doing an amazing performance on Saturday.
"You're the red-hot favourite. There are people who want you to fail.
"There are people who want to snipe at you, who want to kick you because now suddenly you're so popular.
"All she has to do is do a great performance."
Boyle will compete for the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Show.
Taken from the Belfast TelegraphReuse content