Simon Cowell ‘turns to Cheryl for support’ after feeling ‘heartbroken and betrayed’ by X Factor stars backlash

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After several former X Factor contestants opened up about their negative experiences on the show, Simon Cowell has reportedly turned to former judge Cheryl for support.

The music mogul, who enjoyed a lunch with his girlfriend Lauren and son Eric, is said to be "holding crisis talks" after several stars including Jedward and Rebecca Ferguson hit out at the show.

A source told Heat magazine: "He's absolutely reeling and is worried that more acts could speak out, even though he offered them an opportunity for fame and gave them unparalleled exposure on the show.

"He's called in Cheryl for a bit of support and is hoping she'll speak up for him should he need her to.

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"He's also thinking of getting in touch with Liam [Payne] as he's worried that members of 1D could start turning their backs on him publicly," the insider explained.

The source continued: "Simon has been genuinely blindsided. He feels heartbroken and betrayed.

"The music industry is tough, but he didn't invent the rules, and he doesn't feel like he should be made to look like the bad guy. He's worried that his legacy is at stake."

Jedward led the tirade against Simon, 61, as they took to Twitter and described him as "nothing but a bad face lift".

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"Every contestant was a slave to the show and got paid zero while they made millions," the pair alleged in a series of tweets.

Following this, contestant Rebecca Ferguson demanded a parliamentary enquiry into the music industry to protect artists' welfare.

The singer, who performed on the show back in 2010, shared a lengthy statement on her official Twitter page explaining her intentions as she's due to meet the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Downden, next month.

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She wrote: "People have warned me for years about doing this or have encouraged me not to speak out, and unfortunately, I realise that my career may be once again affected by speaking out.

"However, enough is enough and musicians/artists/creatives need change, a lot of my damage has been done but this is about protecting people in the future.

"We need an immediate inquiry to take place to change the way people are allowed to operate in this industry!"

OK! Online have contacted Simon's representative for a comment.

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