An unauthorized biography of “The X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell has revealed more details about the controversial firing of Cheryl Cole, who was dumped in May 2011 as an “X Factor” U.S. judge after doing just four audition dates with the show. The book “Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell” claims that Black Eyed Peas founder Will.i.am was the main instigator in the bitter falling out between Cole and Cowell. (In late 2011, Cowell and Cole eventually called a truce with each other after not communicating with each other for months.)
Excepts from “Sweet Revenge” are being published by The Sun. The book goes on sale in the U.K. on April 20, 2012, and in the U.S. on April 24, 2012.
“Sweet Revenge” recounts the events that led up to Cole’s “X Factor” dismissal. Much of the information in the book confirms what was already revealed in 2011 in interviews that Cole and Cowell gave to the media: Cowell thought that Cole seemed uncomfortable on “The X Factor” U.S. judging panel, so he suggested to Cole that she go back to her previous job as a judge on “The X Factor” U.K., with a salary raise. (Cole was a judge on “The X Factor” U.K. from 2008 to 2010.)
Cole initially accepted the offer and had begun salary negotiations, but when TMZ broke the story that she had been fired from “The X Factor” U.S., Cole changed her mind about going back to “The X Factor” U.K, and she cut off contact with Cowell and other “X Factor” bosses.
Shortly before Cole was named an “X Factor” U.S. judge, she had changed her management. Will.i.am was part of her new management team, and “Sweet Revenge” reveals how much Will.i.am was the allegedly the cause of the falling out that happened between Cowell and Cole:
Here is an excerpt for the book:
“Later Will.i.am called for the beginning of three days of negotiations. The introduction was strained. Cowell was accused of undermining Cheryl by turning down her mic on the US shows. Instead of seeing both sides of the argument, Cowell felt he was ‘riding his own ego.’
“The following day Cowell had a shock. The website TMZ reported she had been fired. Cheryl had taken her phone off the hook, while another of her agents screamed at Cowell for 20 minutes on the phone. Later, in a 3 a.m. meeting, she was offered a $2 million payout of her US contract, plus £2 million to reappear on the UK X Factor, an “executive producer” credit and Cowell’s huge dressing room.
“But angry Cheryl refused to be won over. As Cowell texted and called, she cut all contact. In another twist days later, US TV execs persuaded Cowell to try to get her back. But Will.i.am did not call back for negotiations.”
In a 2011 interview with InStyle’s U.K. edition, Cole also said that she turned down a separate offer to become a judge on “Britain’s Got Talent,” another show executive produced by Cowell.
In interviews, Will.i.am has since made several insulting comments about Cowell and “The X Factor,” and he said that Cole would never work with Cowell again. In February 2012, Cole denied rumors that she was going to return to “The X Factor” U.K. by saying in in a Twitter message “‘The X Factor’ is now a part of my past.”
In 2010, Will.i.am was a guest mentor on “The X Factor” U.K., and he helped Cole select the contestants in her mentor category who would advance to the round of live episodes that year. Will.i.am. has since become a coach on “The Voice” U.K., which is beating “Britain’s Got Talent” in the ratings when the two shows are in the same time slot. There is a rumor that Cole will perform on “The Voice” U.K. to promote music from her third solo album, whose title and release are to be announced. Will.i.am is one of the producers of the album. He and Cole had a previous musical collaboration on his 2008 solo song “Heartbreaker.”
“Sweet Revenge” also claims that when Nicole Scherzinger found out that Cowell wanted to remove Cole from “The X Factor” U.S. juding panel, she gave Cowell a 10-minute pitch to convince him that she should replace Cole. Scherzinger was officially named Cole’s replacement in June 2011. Scherzinger had originally been hired as co-host (with Steve Jones) of “The X Factor” U.S., but footage of Scherzinger and Jones co-hosting the show was never televised. Scherzinger lated admitted to the media that it was her ambition all along to be a judge, not a host, on “The X Factor” U.S.
In January 2012, Scherzinger, Jones and judge Paula Abdul were all fired from the show as part of a major shakeup. Their replacements should be announced in April or May 2012.
“Sweet Revenge” also quotes Cowell as saying that he had been lusting after Cole for years, but they were never lovers because she did not want their relationship to be sexual. The book also claims that Cole often manipulated and teased Cowell to get what she wanted because she knew that he was sexually attracted to her.
Cole was a married woman for most of the time that she and Cowell worked together, which was from 2008 to 2011. She was married to soccer player Ashley Cole from 2006 to 2010. And at the time she was briefly an “X Factor” U.S. judge, Cheryl and Ashley had reunited (but did not remarry) for about five months in 2011, but they broke up again by October 2011.