In an interview on NBC’s “The Kelly Clarkson Show” that aired on May 30, 2021, the 61-year-old reality TV star detailed his scary experience following an electric bike accident in August 2020 that broke his back.
He told Clarkson that he flew eight feet up in the air after testing out a new bike at home and landed on his back.
Even though the former “American Idol” judge suffered a horrible injury that led to surgery and months of rehabilitation, Cowell said it could’ve been a lot worse.
“I mean, I was like a millimeter away from breaking my spine, which would’ve been a disaster,” he told Clarkson. “In a weird way, it was kind of meant to happen because I was really pushing my luck … buying these crazy, crazy bikes.”
Here’s what else Cowell had to say about that scary day:
Cowell Says He Was ‘Hallucinating’ & ‘Covered in Blood’ Following the Accident
Cowell knew he had broken his back when he fell off the bike.
He told Clarkson that while he was waiting for the ambulance, he was carried over to his bed. He recalled being “covered in blood” and “hallucinating” before feeling like he was going “to pass out.”
Cowell’s 7-year-old son Eric was there when the bike accident happened. Following the surgery, Cowell told Clarkson he was most worried about how his son would react when he came home with a metal rod attached to his spine.
According to the AGT judge, his son, who he shares with partner Lauren Silverman, had this cute response: “He came in one morning and he went, ‘Daddy, you’re like iron man, aren’t you?’
“Once I knew that he understood, then I felt fine,” Cowell said, adding, “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 Back as Judge on ‘America’s Got Talent’
Cowell returned to the judge’s panel on “America’s Got Talent” for season 16, which premiered on June 1, 2021.
It’s a big step for the longtime AGT judge, whose back injury forced him to miss half of season 15. Cowell was in surgery for six hours and had a metal rod placed in his back, according to USA Today.
After months of recovery and physical therapy, Cowell told ET that his injury could’ve been a lot worse, and something good came from it.
Physical therapy, he said, forced him to exercise more, and as a result, he feels stronger than he did a year ago.
The star judge is more than ready for the new season and said he missed his fellow co-stars, especially Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara.
“Both Heidi and Sofia are actually very, very funny,” Cowell told ET. “People always ask me, ‘What are [they] like in real life?’ And I always say that you’re both very funny. You make me laugh.”
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