Simon Cowell "got it wrong" over his decision to axe Cheryl Cole from the US 'X Factor'.
The 51-year-old music mogul - who fired the Geordie beauty from the show's judging panel after just four auditions - thought the 28-year-old singer would be "more comfortable" working on the UK version of the talent contest.
He said: "There were a few of us who made a decision when we were filming the show that Cheryl we felt - and I probably got this wrong, and I'll admit it - was going to be more ¬comfortable doing the UK show than the American show.
"And, you know, when you have to make decisions as a producer, you have to make hard decisions. And I'm the first to admit if you get it wrong, you have to take it on the chin."
Simon - who is joined on the panel of the US 'X Factor' by L.A. Reid, Paula Abdul and Cheryl's replacement, Nicole Scherzinger - admitted while the 'Promise This' singer initially accepted her job back on the UK show, she called it off when her firing was made public.
He added in an interview with the Television Critics Association: "After two cities, I offered her the job back in the UK, which ¬initially she accepted. And then unfortunately when it went public the negotiations fell apart.
"She was offered a chance to come back to America but, for certain reasons, ¬decided not to. And that's why it ended up the way it is."
Despite his best intentions, Simon admits Cheryl is "still grumpy" with him for firing her, which he regrets because the pair were "incredibly close" at one time.
He explained: "I am sorry for the way it worked out as we were incredibly close. I'm trying to get her to understand what I did - it was never meant to be negative. It was a decision I thought was the right one and I think she is more comfortable in England than here.
"She is still grumpy with me. But I can look myself in the mirror and say I wasn't ¬being mean. I offered her a lot of money to go back as a hero, and it didn't work out. I think when you have the history we have, you'll eventually work it out."
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