Tulisa aide sorry for Cowell remark
Tulisa Contostavlos's personal assistant has apologised for making claims about Simon Cowell's private life which were heard in court prior to the collapse of the singer's trial, and said he had been "drunk" at the time.
Gareth Varey, the aide to the former X Factor judge, was heard to have said media mogul Cowell was gay during a video recording which was played in court last week.
X Factor boss Cowell's lawyers issued a statement on Monday - following the collapse of Contostavlos's trial over drug supply allegations - denying the claims made against him, which they said had made him appear to be not telling the truth about his sexuality.
Varey said today that he does not know why he made the comment to undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood, which he conceded was "not true", but said it was probably because he was "so drunk".
In a statement, Varey said: " On 10 May 2013 in the course of seeking to entrap Tulisa, Mazher Mahmood supplied Tulisa, me and others with a lot of alcohol.
"I can no longer recall all of the details of that evening but I have listened to the recording made by Mahmood. I was clearly very drunk.
"At some point and utterly out of the blue Mahmood asked me if Simon Cowell was gay. I said he was. This is not true. I do not know why I said it, but assume it is because I was so drunk and felt that I was giving Mahmood the type of information he was seeking. I am very sorry for this."
The trial was halted on Monday after the judge said there were "strong grounds to believe" that Mahmood - known as the "fake sheikh" - had "lied" at an earlier hearing.
Contostavlos had vehemently denied brokering a drugs deal, which had been reported in The Sun on Sunday last year. Mahmood has been suspended by the paper.
Cowell's legal representatives spoke out after the case was stopped to clarify that the music and TV boss - whose son Eric was born earlier this year - was not gay.
And they added: "T he issue was the false suggestion made by Mr Varey that Simon - who is renowned for his honesty and candidness - had thus not been truthful in the public arena and this is what we have been obliged to clarify."