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Simon Cowell says he was a 'millimeter away' from breaking spine in bike accident

“I got really lucky,” Cowell said about his bike accident last year.
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/ Source: TODAY

Simon Cowell opened up to Kelly Clarkson about his bike accident that left him with a broken back last year, saying he got “really lucky” his injury wasn't worse.

“I was like a millimeter away from breaking my spine, which would have been a disaster,” he said Wednesday on Clarkson's talk show. “So in a weird way it was kind of meant to happen because I was really pushing my luck.”

Cowell was at his house when he broke his back in front of his son, Eric, 7. He said just after the crash, he forced himself to get up and go into his room.

“I was buying these crazy, crazy bikes, and this particular bike I bought had so much power, I was thrown about 8 feet in the air, landed on my back — in front of Eric, by the way,” he said.

“This is at the front of my house and the only thing I thought was, ‘I can’t lie here.’ And you’re not supposed to move. I knew I’d broken my back in that second, somehow managed to get back into my bedroom.


After he underwent a COVID-19 test, he said he had to undergo surgery.

“I had an operation for like seven or eight hours,” he said, while noting his surgeon was “the most kind, amazing, smart person you’ll ever meet.”

While Cowell is back on his feet, remnants of his accident remain. He told Clarkson he has a titanium rod and screws in his back, as well as a large scar. Plus, he also had to explain to his son what had happened to him.

“He came in one morning and he went, ‘Daddy, you’re like Iron Man, aren’t you?’ And I went, ‘That’s a good way of putting it,’” he recalled.


“And once I knew that he understood, then I felt fine because that was the only thing that was worrying me — is that how, at his age, does he understand that I’m not going to be able to move for the next three or four months.”

Cowell is healed and will return to his familiar spot at the judges’ table when “America’s Got Talent” returns for a 16th season next week. Clarkson filled in for him on the show after the accident and Cowell couldn’t help but notice she was really on her game.

"I was watching literally in bed that night and I’m thinking, ‘Thank you.’ And as I’m watching you, I’m thinking, 'You're actually doing too well here,'" he said.