Is Simon Cowell really gay and pretending to be straight? On July 17, 2014, during the cocaine trial of former "X Factor" U.K. judge Tulisa Contostavlos, the court heard a recording from her assistant Gareth Carey, who claims that Cowell is secretly gay, according to the Daily Mirror.
As previously reported, the trial began on July 16, 2014, at Southwark Crown Court in London. According to the Telegraph, the trial's testimony on the first day included details about how an undercover reporter for The Sun conned Contostavlos into thinking that she was being considered for a movie in which she would co-star with Leonardo DiCaprio. Contostavlos was a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2011 and 2012. She was fired and replaced by Sharon Osbourne in 2013. Osbourne quit the show and was replaced by Cheryl Cole in 2014.
According to the prosecution, the elaborate ruse resulted in Contostavlos offering to set up a cocaine deal worth £800 for The Sun reporter Mazher Mahmood, who was posing as a movie producer named Samir Khan. According to the testimony, Contostavlos was so fooled by the con that she thought that she would get the movie role over acclaimed actresses Keira Knightley and Kate Winslet, who have won numerous awards for their acting. Contostavlos has very little acting experience, except for roles in a few little-seen independent British movies.
Contostavlos is accused of being a go-between for Michael Coombs (also known as rapper Mike GLC), who sold cocaine to Mahmood at the Dorchester Hotel in London on May 23, 2013. Coombs pled guilty to the charge of supplying cocaine.
In an undercover recording that was heard in court testimony, Mahmood asked Varey off camera if Cowell was gay, and Varey replied, "Yes." Mahmood then asked, "Have you slept with him?," and Varey answered, "No ... One day I will when I make my move."
Mahmood then said, "Do you fancy him or not?" Varey replied, "No." Mahmood then asked, "How do you know he’s gay?" Varey answered, "I know people who have," as in have slept with Cowell.
Cowell (who is 54) has not responded to Varey's allegations, but in several interviews, Cowell has always denied that he is gay when he is asked about his sexual orientation. It has often been speculated that Cowell is gay because he has never been married. (Cowell has been engaged to a few women in his life, but he always broke off the engagements.) However, marital status is not always an accurate indicator of someone's sexual orientation, since there are many closeted gay people who are married to someone of the opposite sex. And there are many heterosexual people of a certain age who never get married.
According to the 2012 unauthorized biography "Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell," there has been no credible evidence that Cowell is gay. No men have come forward to the media or even off the record to claim they that have had sexual encounters with Cowell. And in doing research for the book, which includes interviews with several of Cowell's friends and enemies, "Sweet Revenge" author Tom Bower said he did not hear of any stories of Cowell having sexual affairs with men.
Bower also did extensive interviews with Cowell for the book, which is considered unauthorized since Cowell did not have final approval over the book's content. In the interviews, Cowell admits to be a womanizer who is unfaithful to his girlfriends. Cowell's current main squeeze is divorced socialite Lauren Silverman, the mother of his first child, Eric, who was born on Feb. 14, 2014. Silverman and Cowell began their affair while she was still married to her first husband, Andrew Silvermnan, who was one of Cowell's closest friends.
For years, there have been rumors that Cowell is a swinger. If those rumors are true, it's possible he's been in orgies with people of both sexes. It's also possible that Cowell is not gay but is bisexual or bi-curious. A lot has been written about the "down low" subculture of gay or bisexual men who have sex with men but still think of themselves as being straight because they are not the "submissive" partner.
As for Varey (who is Contostavlos' live-in personal assistant and close friend), very little is known about how credible he is, but he is facing similar drug charges. In March 2014, Contostavlos was tainted by another drug scandal, when Varey was arrested in London for selling cocaine and for possessing marijuana. The Daily Mirror reported the news on March 4, 2014.
She has not publicly commented on Varey's arrest, which came nine months after her own arrest for selling cocaine. Contostvalos and Varey live together in a North London apartment. She has said in many interviews that Varey is her "best friend" but that they are not dating each other. Varey used to be a backup dancer for Contostavlos' hip-hop group N-Dubz.
Scotland Yard issued this statement about Varey's arrest: "Police have arrested a 28-year-old man in Barnet on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and possession of cannabis."
Varey has been accompanying Contostavlos to her court appearances.
July 21, 2014 update: Contostavlos' trial has ended in a mistrial due to the judge declaring there was good reason to believe that Mahmood had lied under oath. The cocaine charges against Contostavlos and Coombs have been dismissed. After the end of the trial, Cowell's legal team issued this statement about Varey's allegation that Cowell is gay: “In 2014 the question of whether someone is or is not gay is antiquated. (As it happens he isn’t, though if he were, he would simply have said so.) However, the issue was the false suggestion made by Mr. Varey that Simon – who is renowned for his honesty and candidness – had thus not been truthful in the public arena and this is what we have been obliged to clarify.”
July 23, 2014 update: Varey has issued this apology statement: "I can no longer recall all of the details of that evening but I have listened to the recording made by Mahmood. I was clearly very drunk. At some point and utterly out of the blue Mahmood asked me if Simon Cowell was gay. I said he was. This is not true. I do not know why I said it, but assume it is because I was so drunk and felt that I was giving Mahmood the type of information he was seeking. I am very sorry for this."