Simon Cowell says becoming a father saved his life after death of parents

Simon Cowell has said becoming a father saved his life “without question” after reaching the point “where nothing mattered” following the death of both of his parents.

The music mogul struggled to hold back tears as he told British star Steven Bartlett “losing both my parents was the hardest thing that has ever happened to me” on The Diary Of A CEO podcast.

Cowell spoke about the “devastation” he felt after the death of his father Eric in 1999 from a heart attack and his mother Julie, who suffered with dementia, in 2015 – before being told he was expecting a baby.

“I had reached the point where nothing mattered,” he said of his grief.

“Particularly when I lost my mum, I was on a downward spiral at that point. It was like I’d lost everyone, everything just meant nothing at that point.

“I was desperately unhappy, I wasn’t particularly enjoying my work, I just thought I would just become a vampire and I would work through until 7am or 8am in the morning, I would wake up at 2pm or 3pm in the afternoon.”

Cowell said he still suffers from depression “at times”, but had “really suffered” in the past.

“The hardest part was being on television as well, I feel like a clown there because I was dying inside and yet I’ve got to do what I’m being paid to do, as best as I could,” the Britain’s Got Talent judge said.

“I put on a ton of weight, I was eating just junk.

“It was like if I got hit by a bus the following day, I’d be dead, but I wasn’t worried about anything like that.

“The whole time was dark. I can absolutely relate to when people reach the lowest level you possibly can – essentially being alive doesn’t matter anymore.”

Simon Cowell with Lauren Silverman and son Eric Cowell in 2017
Simon Cowell with Lauren Silverman and son Eric Cowell in 2017 (Ian West/PA)

Cowell said discovering his partner Lauren Silverman was pregnant “did absolutely change everything in my life”.

“It made me happy again, it was perfect,” he said.

Cowell agreed with Bartlett that son Eric saved his life “without question”.

The 64-year-old said his mother had started to develop dementia but got to meet Eric, who was born in 2014 before she died.

“She really wanted me to have a kid and she brought him this brown blanket and he still has it,” Cowell said.

“They were my best friends. I could tell them anything, we could talk about anything – it’s how I feel for Eric, it is just that pure love.”

For mental health support, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, email them at or visit to find your nearest branch.