simon cowell cheryl cole getty 'X Factor's' Simon Cowell takes 'full responsibility' for Cheryl Cole's departureIt was announced Monday (June 6) that Nicole Scherzinger will officially be replacing Cheryl Cole as a judge on “The X Factor,” Simon Cowell‘s U.S. version of the popular U.K. talent competition reality show. Scherzinger was previously announced as a co-host of the program.

Cowell tells the AP of Cole, “She’s one of — I hope — she’s one of my closest friends, and this was
a decision we made which we thought would be beneficial to her, funny
enough. Not many people will believe that, but that’s the truth.”

In a text message, Cowell says he told Cole he takes “full responsibility” for the decision to replace her – it was not FOX or Fremantle Media’s decision.

Of the reason behind her departure, Cowell says, “I personally thought she was missing her family and friends. She just
looked a little bit, I wouldn’t say uncomfortable, but just not as happy
as I’ve seen her on previous shows.”

“She told me she wasn’t happy [about leaving] but that she also accepted it was a
business decision and she wished the show well. Typically, in Cheryl
form, she was disappointed but charming at the same time. I always, always would hold the door open to work with her again,” says Cowell.

“The X Factor” debuts in September on FOX.