Tuesday, June 7, 2011 7:48am ET by  
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Simon Cowell was 'protecting' Cheryl Cole with X Factor snub

Music mogul Simon Cowell has spoken publicly about Cheryl Cole's unfortunate departure from X Factor USA and admitted that the hardest part about it all was being 'painted as a monster'. 

He felt he was doing the right thing by protecting her and explained:

"The hardest thing to accept is that everyone has painted me as a monster because I embarrassed her. But the truth was I was protecting her. I just want people to be in the best place at the right time.'

Addressing the nature of their friendship now the past few weeks' events have been made public, Cowell added:

"We are close friends. I still hope we are but sometimes when you're that close, when you're making these decisions with someone's life, you have to be certain."

Watch Cole talk about Cowell from the red carpet of the first day of X Factor USA auditions below:


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