'X Factor's' Simon Cowell takes 'full responsibility' for Cheryl Cole's departure

simon-cowell-cheryl-cole-getty.jpgIt was announced Monday (June 6) that Nicole Scherzinger will officially be replacing Cheryl Cole as a judge on "The X Factor," Simon Cowell's U.S. version of the popular U.K. talent competition reality show. Scherzinger was previously announced as a co-host of the program.

Cowell tells the AP of Cole, "She's one of -- I hope -- she's one of my closest friends, and this was a decision we made which we thought would be beneficial to her, funny enough. Not many people will believe that, but that's the truth."

In a text message, Cowell says he told Cole he takes "full responsibility" for the decision to replace her - it was not FOX or Fremantle Media's decision.

Of the reason behind her departure, Cowell says, "I personally thought she was missing her family and friends. She just looked a little bit, I wouldn't say uncomfortable, but just not as happy as I've seen her on previous shows."

"She told me she wasn't happy [about leaving] but that she also accepted it was a business decision and she wished the show well. Typically, in Cheryl form, she was disappointed but charming at the same time. I always, always would hold the door open to work with her again," says Cowell.

"The X Factor" debuts in September on FOX.

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