Cheryl Cole on being sacked by Simon Cowell from The X Factor: ‘He was right. I wasn’t well in the head’

The singer, 31, fell out with the music mogul over her sensational axing in 2011 that occurred before the series had even aired

Jenn Selby
Thursday 03 July 2014 13:54 BST

Cheryl Cole has admitted that Simon Cowell was “right” to axe her from her coveted position on The X Factor USA judging panel because she “wasn’t well in the head”.

The singer, 31, fell out with the music mogul over her sensational sacking in 2011 that occurred before the series had even aired.

Producers cited her strong Geordie accent and her lack of charisma as the reason they let her go after she had appeared in just half an episode, claiming that the American audience had failed to understand her and hadn't warmed to her.

And the decision was ultimately a costly one. Not only did it ignite a very public feud between Cole and Cowell, but it also saw the singer sue production company Blue Orbit for $2.3million (£1.4million) for loss of earnings earlier this year.

In November 2013, the case was settled out-of-court and an undisclosed sum was paid out to the star.

“I can talk about this because I'm OK about it now,” she told Elle UK of her humiliating exit. “But I went through hell and it literally drove me mad. I became so desensitised, you could say terrible things to me and I wouldn't even think about it.”

“I'd read awful stuff about myself and not blink. I shut down because I didn't know what else to do.

“Now I can say that Simon was right to get rid of me.

“I wasn't well in the head when that was going on, so it wasn't going to work. But he wasn't right not to tell me to my face.”

The former Girls Aloud star famously sent Cowell an expletive-littered text message, reading, “F**k you, F**k Fox, F**k the orange and purple outfit. F**k the big hair. F**k the UK X Factor. F**k you all. I hate you”, after she learned that she had been dropped from the show.

Now, she admits her reaction had come at a particular low.

“It only hit me at the beginning of 2013 that I'd completely lost myself. I'd look in a mirror and think, ‘Who the hell is she?’

“I didn't know what I thought or felt about anything, couldn't make decisions ̶ I didn't even know what to eat or drink. Something was seriously wrong: it felt like a nervous breakdown. I had to stop, get out of my life I'd been living and find myself again. The consequences if I didn't were just too frightening.”

She has since re-joined the panel on The X Factor UK, reportedly signing a £1.5million deal to sit alongside fellow judges Mel B, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh.

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