Simon Cowell used to be known as Mr. Nasty. Now he's Devoted Dad. But it's come at a price — one he's been happy to pay.
The music mogul is confessing just how much he's revamped his unhealthy lifestyle in the last year as he credits son Eric, 4, with girlfriend Lauren Silverman, with sparking the huge change.
In a new interview with The Sun, which was given to clear up reports and rumors about some of his latest business moves involving U.K. artists and partners, the man behind "The X Factor" and "Britain's Got Talent" also revealed some deeply personal information about the type of life he's living now and why he's never been happier.
The "America's Got Talent" judge — who turns 60 next year — admitted he was living the ultimate destructive lifestyle. "I was like a vampire. For years I would not go to bed until 8 in the morning. It was a wake-up call. I think stress, if you want my honest opinion, is the biggest killer of all," he explained.
Now, "I've stopped all the crazy late-night phone calls and the late-night meetings. That was the problem," he added. "Suddenly you go, 'I can't live like this anymore.' You don't want your son walking in when you're always asleep in the afternoon. I mean, that's not great."
Simon also made light of a fall he suffered in October 2017 that also made it clear he needed to change things. Keeping his sense of humor, he joked, "I have a stairlift now."
Simon has really focused on embracing the happiest parts of his life these days — and those involve his son. "Going back to Eric, I have laughed more this year than I have in years and I think it's one of the best medicines in the world," he explained.
He also said he's trying to clean up his business dealings — he just walked away from wildly successful act Little Mix because of drama with their team and weighed in on parting ways with controversial British businessman Sir Philip Green, who'd had a piece of Simon's Syco business for a long time — so that he can feel good about the example he sets and what he leaves to Eric someday.
"My perspective on life is slightly different than it used to be," Simon explained. "I used to be really competitive, read the ratings and have white knuckles. Now I find it funny. At the end of the day I always go back to Eric, who will hopefully one day be running these shows — one day, please God."
Simon said that changing the way he does business and with whom he does it has left him feeling lighter, happier and more at peace. "This is the best I've felt in years because I'm going into the New Year now without any weight on my shoulders any more," he said. "It's like I've dealt with everything I've had to deal with."