Simon Cowell is selling his mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif., for a reported $20 million. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Cowell is unloading the four-bedroom, six-bathroom gated estate that he bought from AEG Live president/CEO Randy Phillips in 2011. Cowell paid $15.5 million for the mansion, according to public records.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the mansion (which is in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills) sits on a half an acre of land, and has a swimming pool, 7,265 square feet of living space, city views, an outdoor entertainment area, a screening room and a formal dining room with walls of glass.
The move is a sign that Cowell is making major changes in his life. Although Cowell has not commented to the media on why he is selling the mansion, there are plenty of big changes in his life that are coming in 2014, and it looks like Cowell is preparing for those changes.
First, his lover Lauren Silverman (a socialite who is based in New York City) is due to give birth to Cowell's first child in February 2014. The child is reportedly a boy. Lauren Silverman, who got pregnant with Cowell's child while she was married to her first husband, Andrew Silverman, will continue to have New York as her home base because she and her ex-husband, Andrew, share custody of their 7-year-old son, Adam. Andrew filed for divorce in July 2013, the same month that Lauren's pregnancy made the news. The Silvermans reached a quickie divorce settlement in August 2013. Cowell is rumored to have paid off Andrew Silverman in the divorce settlement. Lauren Silverman is now living in a Park Avenue luxury apartment building in New York City, with her living expenses reportedly paid for by Cowell. According to the New York Daily News, the apartment is renting for $26,000 a month, and the neighbors are worried about the paparazzi and other media attention that come with Cowell spending time at the apartment.
Second, "The X Factor" U.S. (whose operations are based in the Los Angeles area) is likely to be cancelled, although Fox probably won't make the official announcement until May 2014. As I've exclusively reported, Cowell plans to return to being a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. after "The X Factor" U.S. is cancelled. Furthermore, there is no chance that he is going back to being a judge "American Idol," since he has no ownership stake in "American Idol," and Cowell has a long-standing feud with "American Idol" creator/executive producer Simon Fuller.
Third, Cowell selling his Beverly Hills mansion is a clear sign that he is making some kind of break from two of his ex-girlfriends — Terri Seymour and Mezhgan Hussainy — who live in Beverly Hills and have remained part of his inner circle after the breakups. Seymour (who is a correspondent on the celebrity news show "Extra") dated Cowell from 2002 to 2008, and they lived together for most of those years. Cowell and Seymour reportedly broke up because she wanted to get married and have kids with him, but he did want to take their relationship to that level. Even after the breakup, Seymour and Cowell remained close. They reportedly talk on the phone several times a week.
According to the 2012 unauthorized biography "Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell," Cowell (who has admitted in interviews that it's hard for him to stay monogamous) reportedly cheated on Seymour with several women, including Hussainy, who has been one of Cowell's longtime makeup artists. Hussainy and Cowell, who also used to live together, were engaged from 2010 to 2011. According to "Sweet Revenge," Cowell broke up with Hussainy because he thought she was too needy and did not understand his workaholic ways. Hussainy continued to work for Cowell as his makeup artist after he ended their engagement, and she still accompanies him on dates and when he is traveling. For example, about a month after the news broke about Lauren Silverman being pregnant with Cowell's child, he took Hussainy and Sinitta (another of his ex-girlfriends) as his dates to the world premiere of "One Direction: This Is Us" in London. It was at this movie premiere that Cowell first admitted to the media that he is having a child with Lauren Silverman.
After the breakups with Seymour and Hussainy, Cowell reportedly paid Seymour and Hussainy "palimony" settlements that included a $5 million Beverly Hills mansion for Seymour and a $8 million Beverly Hills mansion for Hussainy. In a 2011 interview with The Guardian, Cowell admitted that some of his former lovers have gotten "palimony" settlements, but he declined to reveal further details.
Cowell first bought a home in the Los Angeles area in the early 2000s, after he found fame as a judge on "American Idol," which is also based in Los Angeles. During his years with "American Idol" and "X Factor" U.S., he split his time between Los Angeles and London.
If Cowell is no longer going to have to work on a Los Angeles-based TV show, then it's no wonder that he is selling his mansion. It's possible that he will still have a home in the area, but selling the mansion is a clear sign that he is "downsizing" or not planning to not spend a lot of time in the area.
Cowell bought his most recent Beverly Hills mansion from Phillips in 2011, the year that "The X Factor" U.S. launched. Before "The X Factor" U.S. launched, a lot of people thought the show would be as successful as "The X Factor" has been in the U.K., Australia and other countries. But "The X Factor" U.S. has been a disappointment on almost every level. In 2013, the show's third season has hit a ratings low, averaging only 6.5 million U.S. viewers per episode, which is about 50 percent less than what the show was getting in its first season in 2011.
Cowell has been telling the media that he's been "happier than I've ever been" now that he is going to become a father. But Cowell can't be happy about "The X Factor" U.S.'s disappointing ratings and the show's failure to find an international superstar on the level of "American Idol" first winner Kelly Clarkson or "X Factor" U.K. boy band One Direction.
"The X Factor" U.S. has been a humiliating blow for Cowell, who in 2011 bragged to the media that the show would premiere to at least 20 million U.S. viewers. In reality, the show's first season premiere only got 12.5 million U.S. viewers, which are the highest ratings that the show ever got for a single episode. And even though Fox's "American Idol" has also had a big decline in ratings in the past few years, "The X Factor" has never been able to surpass "American Idol's" ratings in the United States.
But don't feel sorry for Cowell. He's still making millions (an estimated $95 million a year, according to Forbes magazine) from his entertainment empire, which includes "The X Factor" and "Got Talent" franchises around the world, as well as Syco Music (the company he co-owns with Sony Music), whose best-selling artists include One Direction and Susan Boyle. And he has a backup plan to return to ITV's "The X Factor" U.K. as a judge. He is currently a judge on ITV's "Britain's Got Talent."
On "The X Factor" U.K.'s judging panel, Cowell is likely to replace Gary Barlow (who replaced Cowell in 2011), since Barlow has announced that he will be busy in 2014 with a new Take That album, which will be followed by a Take That tour. (Cowell left "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel in 2011, but he has always been an executive producer/creator of the show.)
In a September 2013 interview on "On Air With Ryan Seacrest," Cowell hinted that he might marry Lauren Silverman, although many people are skeptical that Cowell will ever get married. Cowell, 54, has never been married and has said for years that he never wants to get married. Paparazzi have photographed Cowell and Lauren Silverman visiting an attorney's office in New York City, which has led to speculation that they are discussing a pre-nuptial agreement. At the very least, Cowell and Lauren Silverman have to work out legal issues regarding the custody and financial arrangements for their child.