America's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell needs more bed rest to fully recover from the dangerous bike accident he suffered during the summer. Cowell will reportedly be in bed for six more months to recover from the back surgery and needs a full-time nurse at his home in Malibu. Cowell will not be able to return to his native U.K. until next spring and is reportedly too unwell to even record a message for this weekend's Britain's Got Talent finale.
The 61-year-old Cowell has been through a "rough few weeks," a source told The Sun Friday. "Simon’s a fighter and fairly gung-ho. Naturally, he thought he’d be out of action for a few weeks and then, if not doing iron man contests, at least be back on the showbiz circuit," the source said, explaining Cowell had a "setback" from the surgery "to fuse two vertebrae and it has proven more complicated than a standard break." In addition to the live-in maid, Cowell's longtime girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their 6-year-old son Eric are keeping him company.
Cowell was hospitalized in early August after breaking his back in three places during an accident at his home with a new electronic bike. Although he missed the America's Got Talent live shows, there were several optimistic reports about his recovery in August and September. In late September, an insider told PEOPLE he was "swimming as much as possible" and working to "build the strength in his back since the surgery."
However, The Sun's new report confirms things are not going as well as hoped. His team thought he could at least film a message for the Britain's Got Talent finale, but he still is not well enough for that. He is reportedly using "extremely strong painkillers" and needs to wear a special back brace. He is also spending most of his time in bed and the surgery is "not healing" as well as hoped. Cowell has also not been seen in public since he was photographed in a car on Aug. 24.
“Simon is joking and in decent spirits," a source told The Sun. "But he’s also quite vain and the idea of going on national TV with no studio make-up, and while on heavy-duty medication, didn’t appeal. So, unfortunately, he had to decline producers’ requests.” Cowell reportedly stopped following a vegetarian diet to build his strength. He is also using an iPad to email friends and family but is not using a phone.
Cowell's accident happened while America's Got Talent was still on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the show returned, NBC brought in Kelly Clarkson and Kenan Thompson as guest judges for live episodes in Los Angeles. The final episodes did not have guest judges, leaving Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum as the remaining judges. Spoken word poet Brandon Leake won the season.