- Simon Cowell has spoken about his horror bike accident for the first time.
- The TV personality said he came very close to being paralyzed.
- “I really nearly could have smashed my spine to pieces,” he said.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Simon Cowell says he came very close to being paralyzed after a serious bike accident at his home in Malibu, California.
The “America’s Got Talent” judge was hospitalized in August after breaking his back in multiple places after falling off an electric bike. Cowell underwent five hours of surgery the same night, which included a metal rod being placed in his back.
Speaking about the accident for the first time during an interview with ExtraTV, Cowell said: “I knew I’d broken my back the minute I landed. It was really, really kind of sudden and it hurt.”
He added: “It could have been a lot worse. When I saw the X-ray, I really nearly could have smashed my spine to pieces, so I literally wouldn’t have been able to walk.”
Cowell, 61, continued to say that he knew he wasn’t supposed to move after the accident, but he decided he could not lie down and wait.
“I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to get back into the house because I can’t lie there’… and made myself kind of get carried into my bedroom, which is right there at the beginning of the house, and I’m lying there and I’m kind of passing out… It was surreal,” he said.
According to sources who spoke to People, Cowell was said to be “walking around” just two days after the surgery. But the TV personality said the hardest part of his recovery was coming home to his 7-year-old son Eric after the accident.
He said: “I was so embarrassed about coming home looking about 100 because I couldn’t walk, and I have these metal rods in my back and these screws … I said, ‘Lauren, I just don’t know how to explain it to [Eric].’ She obviously said something to him because he came in … and I was lying in bed and he said, ‘Daddy, you’re like Ironman,’ and I thought that was the sweetest thing and it meant a lot.”
Due to the accident, Cowell did not appear in the latest series of “America’s Got Talent.” Instead, he was temporarily replaced by singer Kelly Clarkson who is also a coach on “The Voice” and won the first season of “American Idol,” which was judged by Cowell.
Speaking about watching the series while recovering at home, Cowell said: “They were almost too good. I was watching the show thinking, ‘Can you not be great?’ And they were great. What I did realize, there were no red buzzers throughout the live shows … None of them would use them.”
Shortly after the accident, Cowell tweeted a thank-you to fans who wished him well and reminded people to read the instruction guide before using an electric bike.
He said: “Some good advice … If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time. I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages.”
—Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) August 10, 2020