Simon Cowell hopes to remain friends with Cheryl Cole
The music mogul has taken "responsibility" for her departure from the US `X Factor` as he knows how much sway he holds, but hopes she will be able to get over her career low-point and make a comeback, even indicating the pair would work together again in the future.
He said: "A hundred per cent I have to take full responsibility because I do have a lot of sway. We are close friends, I still hope we are but sometimes when you`re that close, when you`re making these decisions with someone`s life you have to be certain.
"I stand by what I said to her. I hope we`re still close friends. I`m sure if she was here now there would be frank discussions, but will I work with her again? Definitely. She`s a star. "
News of Cheryl`s departure leaked out two weeks ago, and Simon admitted it was initially planned that she would "go quietly" from the US version of the show and make a surprise return to the UK programme - which she was a judge on from 2008 until quitting to work Stateside - during the auditions, which started last week.
He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The intention was to do it quietly and simply say to her that you have an option to rejoin the UK show.
"We were saying move to another show for even more money. There were offers of around ё2.5 million on the table, including bonuses. So how is that sacking someone? If that`s being horrible to someone then I would be quite happy with someone doing that to me.
"She was certainly interested as we exchanged a few texts and she asked if she could have my dressing room at the studio and I said, `Of course`.
"We genuinely thought it was going to happen. The condition was that it was to be kept under wraps and she would make a big entrance last week at the Birmingham auditions and everyone would have loved it."