Simon Cowell knows full well that the best PR defense is often a good offense, and in the wake of his friendly night out last week with ex-girlfriend Terri Seymour, the "X Factor" dream crusher quieted the rumor mill by turning up the romance factor with his knocked-up squeeze, Lauren Silverman.
The onetime paramours turned parents-to-be posed for a lovey-dovey photo op on Saturday at The Ivy in Los Angeles, where the elite go to eat in front of the paparazzi.
With cameras clicking away, Simon and Lauren puckered up as they dined al fresco. Too bad the kiss had the same amount of heat as the ice water they were sipping (note how Cowell is gazing into the distance). Still, the pair laid it on thick, exchanging schmoopy looks and holding hands.
After the meal, they amped up the domestic bliss part of the program with a stop at Whole Foods.
Cowell, in a trademark chest fur-accentuating pullover and sunglasses, pushed the cart and tried to keep a look of boredom off his face as Silverman shopped (he did seem to perk up when she checked out some melons).
Meanwhile, he's also sharing his excitement about their impending stork visit.
"Life is fantastic," Simon gushes to Us Weekly. "Even with all the drama, this year has been incredible. I said to Lauren last night, 'I can't believe how much has happened.' I never thought I'd be a father."
The relationship, which began when Silverman was still married to Cowell's pal, New York businessman Andrew Silverman, now apparently includes collaborating on work-related matters.
"She's brilliant because she gets what my job is and has a great ear," enthuses Simon, who has never really struck us as a group participation kind of guy. "So when I'm choosing a single, I send her tracks and we agree. You have to work with your partner."
On Sunday, the partners were seen boarding a private plane, reportedly on their way to Silverman's home base in New York. For more pics of Simon and Lauren's clunky kiss and grocery run, be sure to click on …