April 24, 2012 at 9:01 AM ET
Simon Cowell: Media mogul who reportedly earns $70M per year. Often caustic, always "being honest" when it comes to telling aspiring singers whether they've got the right stuff. But according to Tom Bower in his new unauthorized biography "Sweet Revenge," that opinionated attitude comes from a place of deep insecurity.
"Simon's world, it's like here's a man who's constantly telling contestants on TV you're no good, and he has suffered the same -- for 20 years in the music business, people have been heaping, heaping manure on him, telling him he's no good," Bower told TODAY's Michelle Kosinski Tuesday.
These days, thanks to his enormous success Cowell doesn't have to listen to anyone's opinion any more, and he can do what he likes -- including partying until daybreak as Bower discovered when he spent some time on Cowell's rented yacht. So what does one do at a party until 5 in the morning with Simon Cowell? Board games, apparently. "It's all about games. they constantly take out these board games, these ridiculously stupid games. He likes being amused," said Bower.
As for his personal life, there's nothing Bower saw that told him Cowell was anything other than a ladies' man -- "a 52-year-old stud," he said. "He likes women who are uninhibited, uncomplicated, a bit trashy," said Bower. And as for the women who appear on his shows? Bower reports, "He said, 'Well, they're my toys.'"
Yet for all that has been revealed about Cowell's private life, Cowell hasn't repudiated anything Bower has written, though he has admitted that he's embarrassed by it.
"He's a big, big old boy," said Bower, who admits he likes him. "There isn't anything bad about him. It was an interesting insight into a vulnerable man."