Simon Cowell Says Having Son Eric ‘Without Question’ Saved Him

  • Simon Cowell opened up about a time in his life when he was on a “downward spiral” after the death of his mother during an appearance on The Diary Of A CEO podcast
  • Cowell referred to himself as “desperately unhappy” at the time, adding that he was a “ridiculous workaholic” until the birth of his son Eric “changed everything in my life”
  • The America’s Got Talent judge noted that the child “without question” saved him during a time when he “reached the point where nothing mattered”

Simon Cowell’s son Eric couldn’t have arrived at a better time in the America’s Got Talent judge’s life. 

Speaking on the latest episode of The Diary Of A CEO podcast, released on June 10, Cowell, 64, shared how his 10-year-old son saved him during a dark period amid the loss of his parents, Julie and Eric, and his life being consumed by work. Cowell’s father Eric, who his son was named after, died in 1999, while his mother Julie died 16 years later.

“I think particularly when I lost my mum, I was on a downward spiral at that point,” said the music industry executive. “I lost everyone, you know, I’ve lost my parents. It’s finality now. What I said about the material things I’ve got, everything just meant nothing at that point.”

“I was desperately unhappy, I wasn’t particularly enjoying my work and I just thought you know what I’m just going to become a vampire then, and I would work through until 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning,” Cowell continued. “I would wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon and I actually got addicted to that kind of lifestyle. I just loved the intensity. It was almost like because of the loss I’d had, I’ve got to find something else to fill it. And it was I’m just going to be a ridiculous workaholic, and I was very successful but I wasn’t happy, I really, really wasn’t happy.”

But the TV personality said when he heard that his fiancée Lauren Silverman, whom he has been dating since 2004, was pregnant with their first child, it turned everything around.

Simon Cowell (left) with his mom Julie Cowell.

Richard Grange/Shutterstock 

“When I got the call from Lauren, which starts, any call that starts with, ‘Are you sitting down?’ You know what‘s coming next. It was like, ‘Are you sitting down?’ ‘Yes,’ ‘Well,’ and she told me. And yes it did absolutely change, it changed everything in my life. It made me happy again,” Cowell told the podcast’s host Steven Bartlett.

“For me, it was perfect because like we were talking earlier about our childhoods, it was brilliant. Fantastic. I remember the first time I watched Jungle Book [with him] and I’m looking over and seeing the joy he had watching that movie. It was like, oh my God I remember how I felt when I saw The Jungle Book,” he continued.

Asked if Eric “saved him,” Cowell responded, “Without question, without question. I really, really had reached the point where nothing mattered. Even to the point that I almost can’t remember everything from that period.”

“It hit me so hard, the hardest thing also was being on television as well … I felt like a clown here because I’m dying inside,” he said. “And yet I’ve still got to do what I’m being paid to do as best as I could but I’d put on a ton of weight, I was eating junk, if I had got hit by a bus the following day, well, I’d be dead, but I wasn’t worried about anything like that.”

Simon Cowell and his son Eric Cowell.

Rich Fury/Getty

Barlett, 31, then asked the Britain’s Got Talent judge what his “darkest day” was in that period, to which he replied, “The whole time was dark. I can absolutely relate to when people reach the lowest levels you possibly can, where essentially being alive doesn’t matter anymore, because you just go, ‘Well, what have I got to live for?’ ” 

“Did you have those thoughts?” asked Bartlett.

“Yeah,” said Cowell, before clarifying, “Not thinking I want to take my own life, but thinking if something terrible happened it wouldn’t bother me, to myself.”

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Speaking to PEOPLE last year, Cowell shared how he loves seeing his son get “excited” during the live tapings of AGT

“He’s a great barometer,” he said of Eric. “I look over to look at him, ‘Is he having a good time?’ And he was having a really good time when he’s up on his seat, excited. [It] is the best thing, because with kids, it’s all unfiltered.”

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