The Daily Mirror today reports that although Sinitta might be Simon Cowell’s right-hand woman, that doesn’t mean she always agrees with him – especially when it comes to Cheryl Cole.
Here’s the story…
There was national uproar when Cheryl was dumped as a judge on US X Factor, but Sinitta never thought it would work. In fact, she doesn’t think Simon should have taken her out there in the first place.
“I did think it was odd in the beginning that Cheryl went,” admits Sinitta, 42, who has been involved with the UK X Factor since it started.
“I didn’t voice my opinion so much because I knew people would just think I was being jealous.
“But it’s not that I didn’t want her to do it, it’s just that I couldn’t understand why she was there, except that she and Simon are very funny together.
“But it’s usually hard to take a lead from an English show to America and vice versa. They’re not known enough over there.”
But she thinks Cheryl’s absence is being felt in theUK version. “It makes a big difference without her,” says the music industry veteran.
“I’ve been to some of the auditions and whereas I didn’t miss them as such, it was like I was at a completely different show. And I liked it.
“I’d got used to watching the Tom and Jerry antics between Simon and Cheryl and Louis being bitchy and jealous, saying Cheryl was Simon’s little pet. Now all those dynamics are gone.”
But Sinitta was impressed with newcomer Tulisa Contostavlos.
“I was surprised at her confidence. She’s young and had big shoes to fill, so I thought she’d be intimidated but, no, she was going for it.”
Sinitta is still close to Simon, who she dated on and off for almost 20 years after they met when she was 17. She says he’s not worried about how the new shows will be received on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Well he hasn’t told me that he’s worried. He wanted to do something fresh. Louis is now the comforting, familiar person on the panel and he doesn’t have Simon swiping at him all the time.”
With rumours of Simon and Cheryl struggling to patch up their differences, along with speculation about Sinitta’s true opinion of the Geordie, it’s not been easy for her to make her views known. But she insists she has nothing but respect for Cheryl.
“We’re not super close but I’ve sent messages to her after it was wrongly reported I said it was right she was axed from the show.
“I wanted to make sure she knew I hadn’t said that. It was unfortunate what happened with Cheryl but I do think something good will come out of it.
“She’ll come back stronger and better and I think she’ll take on America again.
“She shouldn’t give up, she just needs to approach it a different way. At least the US knows exactly who she is now.”
Now she wants Cheryl to take some time to sort out her personal life before throwing herself back into the pressures of work.
“She has a lot on her plate right now so it’d be nice for her just to enjoy this time before things get really crazy again rather than read everything that’s being written.
“When things aren’t going well or your relationship is sensitive, that kind of scrutiny is hard.
“You’re trying to figure things out for yourself and already have the opinions of your close friends and family. It’s tough to have to deal with public opinion on top of that. It’s best to listen to yourself and not be influenced by the public.”
Times have been hard for Sinitta this year, too. She had a tumour removed from her ankle which then caused her to tear ligaments in her ankle so it had to be re-pinned. Shewas bedridden on morphine for two months and also confined to a wheelchair and crutches. She went down to almost 6st and things have been hard.
“I’ve exercised all my life six days a week and the most I’ve missed is a couple of days if I’ve been ill.
“So to be off from February until now has been crazy. At first, I withered away to nothing but as soon as I was able to move around and my appetite returned, I sort of puffed out again.
“My body isn’t as toned as it usually is. I have a couple of months until I can get back to my usual exercise and wear high heels, which is very important!”
And being out of action has meant she hasn’t had much time to go out dating. “I have concentrated on getting better.
“And I have a new theory, I will look for a partner for myself rather than someone I think would make a suitable dad for my children, which is where I have gone wrong in the past.
“They already have a father, who’s fantastic and pretty hands on for a dad who’s overseas. If I really like someone and they like me, then my children would be a part of my life they would embrace.”
Sinitta adopted Magdalena, five, and Zac, four, with her now estranged husband Andy Willner over three years ago and put her relationship with Stefano Zagni on hold last year when she tried but failed to adopt her children’s biological sibling.
“I’ve done a lot of jobs over the years and being a mum is emotionally hard as well. You feel like you’re failing if you’re not being a good parent. It’s challenging.”
Sinitta is fronting a Change4Life campaign this summer to give parents tips on keeping their children occupied during the school holidays. She says it’s vital to make sure kids are kept active and eat healthily.
“My kids go stir-crazy if you don’t take them out and exhaust them physically. They’re used to being occupied all day at school.
“We’ve been walking everywhere and watering the garden plants. They find that fun and don’t realise they’re being given chores. And we work our way through a big bowl of fruit for snacks rather than biscuits.”
So has Simon been a hands-on godfather this summer? “We’re in touch all the time and usually see him when he’s over here. He’s a very good godfather.
“When I first became separated, I thought it was a shame the children wouldn’t have a permanent male figure in their lives but Simon’s amazing so there’s no problem.
“He sees them regularly, remembers their birthdays, gives them Christmas gifts and takes them on holiday. And he genuinely enjoys their company. He’d make a great dad but he just doesn’t want to.”
She won’t comment on whether Simon and his fiancee Mezhgan Hussainy have set a date for their wedding yet but she does think they’re a good match. “You know when people are comfortable with each other and enjoy a good laugh together.”
And although it’s not been confirmed whether she’ll be involved in X Factor this year, she would be happy to work in either the US or the UK.
“Working on both shows has its advantages. I like the US one because I am American and love being in LA – I would love to work with Simon, Paula and Nicole.
“But it would also be great to do the show here and not have the boss in close proximity because we can have more of a free rein.
“I’d miss working with him though because Simon just makes things that little bit more fun and more edgy.”
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