If Max Clifford is worried about the amount of publicity a certain book is generating about his client, then the client should definitely be worried. For in Max’s eyes – no publicity is bad publicity – until now. A new book, written by former BBC journalist Tom Bower and titled Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell, went on sale yesterday and already has caused quite a stir with its stories of the multi millionaire TV mogul. The problem is that this particular book had the full cooperation of Mr Cowell, who actually spent hours in the journalists company. Bower stayed on Cowell’s private yacht for two weeks, was invited to the American X Factor auditions and was given clearance to speak to some of Cowell’s closest and dearest friends. It is thought that once Cowell knew that Bower was planning an unauthorised biography of him, he took advice from none other than Bernie Ecclestone, whom Bower had previously written about, and decided to let the journalist into his life and disclose many of his deepest secrets.
Bower has stated that they had ‘hundreds of hours of conversations’ between them and covered many embarrassing topics with Cowell being ‘remarkably candid’ when it came to discussing some of these more secret matters. A lot of press interest has come from the affairs with high profile women that Cowell is supposed to have had, and although Cowell has never confirmed an affair with Dannii Minogue, he has alluded to it with some very male chauvinistic quotes such as, “It was Dannii’s hair, the sexy clothes and the t*ts.” And later on in the book, “There were a few bonks and then it petered out while I was in America.” A friend of Cowell’s who has known him for over ten years was appalled at the way he spoke about women, “I have never known Simon to talk about women that way — like a bl**dy teenager. It is unlike him to call someone just “a bonk”. I’m stunned by it. It’s dreadful.” And judging from the reaction of ladies in the UK who are taking to Twitter in their droves, she is not the only one who did not realise that Cowell had such a misogynistic streak.
Another friend , called Beighton in the book, states that she thinks Cowell has an intimacy problem and really does not want to get involved in a womans personal day to day life. Bower agrees and writes in the book, ‘He visibly winces if a woman’s period was mentioned. ‘Girls with a period’, he told Beighton jokingly, ‘should be locked in a room with straw on the floor.’ If that is a joke it is not a very funny one. What also comes across in the book is how insecure Cowell is and how prone to depression he can be. When he won his Bafta lifetime achievement, Cowell was still not satisfied. “I went home depressed,” he said. “I am only interested in the future and what I am going to get.” He is also known for having to take sleeping tablets at times of stress to help him get through what he perceives as anxious situations. For instance, when he feared he might have to sack Cheryl Cole from the US version of the X Factor USA, Bower states that Cowell had to take two sleeping pills at 5am, before he was able to speak to her. Bower also reveals that Cowell took half a sleeping pill before his 50th birthday party, because he could not deal with the fact that 500 of his nearest and dearest friends would be celebrating his life and it made him anxious and stressful. “I wanted to be slightly dreamy because I was stressed. I would have to go to the tables and be nice to everyone,” he said. “It was almost unbearable. The tablet made me relaxed.”
Friends of Cowell’s are either sticking up for him or standing against him after reading about themselves in the book, but many are wondering why he decided to cooperate with Bower at all, let alone give out so much personal and candid information in the first place. One close associate has called the whole affair ‘an insane misjudgment’. He said, “Cowell thinks that he is God, and he thought that he could control Tom Bower, and have him write the book he wanted. The trouble is, Bower wouldn’t play. Simon Cowell is a clever man and a manipulative man, but maybe not quite as clever as he thinks he is. He never saw this coming.” So did Simon Cowell make a colossal mistake in giving our so much personal information or do we need to know that he uses black toilet roll to wipe his buttocks? Thing is if Max Clifford is nervous I think Cowell should be too. And as Max has commented, “Simon does now regret that he co-operated and gave all these interviews. He is OK, but this has not been the greatest week of his life.” He added, with a sigh, “I am going to be very busy.”