Simon Cowell was born in London, England and grew up in Elstree, England.
Cowell isn’t too outspoken about his religious beliefs, if he even has any. His MySpace page says he’s “Christian – other.”1 But some diligent reporter did some digging and found out that Cowell’s father was Jewish. Apparently though, until the article was published, Cowell never even knew about it, indicating that religion was probably not a big topic in Cowell’s childhood home.2 Cowell took it well and when he was asked about the shocking revelation, he said he was “thrilled” to learn of his Jewish roots.
For some time, rumors circulated that Cowell may be required to convert to Islam. He was engaged to a woman named Mezhgan Hussainy, whose family is from Afghanistan and Muslim. Hussainy’s sister-in-law, when she married her brother, converted to Islam and there was concern from Hussainy’s parents about the marriage to a Christian/Jew.3
However, Cowell and Hussainy broke up, leaving Cowell to remain in religious ambiguity.((Simon Cowell’s Ex-Fiancee Mezhgan Hussainy–No Plans to Write a Tell-All. TMZ.))
Suffice it to say, Cowell is likely not very religious.
The Politics of Money
Cowell is a supporter of the British Conservative Party–or Tories. He strongly backed Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron during his campaign. Cowell went so far as to write an Op-Ed piece for the British newspaper, The Sun, making his case for David Cameron and the Conservatives. He said:
David Cameron is the prime minister Britain needs at this time. He has the substance and the stomach to navigate us through difficult times.4
Cowell’s political views have been a problem for him in the notoriously liberal entertainment industry on at least one occasion. Apparently he and fellow X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole, who is a Labour supporter, got into a heated political debate and didn’t speak to one another for a time.5
There is probably a more personal, dare I say selfish, reason Cowell is a Conservative Party supporter. Cowell pays millions of pounds in taxes as a result of his rather high-profile job and when the Conservatives announced a plan to give a tax break to Britain’s wealthiest citizens, Cowell quickly endorsed it. Using the age-old “you’ll drive away economic growth with high taxes” bit conservatives have been beating like a dead horse for years, Cowell said:
I’m proud of being British and don’t have a problem paying taxes. If you want some of the big entrepreneurs to stay in the country then you have to lower the tax rate a bit. Otherwise you will find them going out of the U.K. and working elsewhere.6
Just follow the money.
- Simon Cowell on MySpace. MySpace. [↩]
- Some Single, Some Scary, Some Golden. Interfaith Celebrities. [↩]
- Is Simon Cowell Really Converting to Islam? Debbie Schlussel. [↩]
- General Election 2010: Simon Cowell backs David Cameron for PM. Mail Online. [↩]
- Cheryl Cole furious with Simon Cowell’s Conservative politics. Unreality TV. [↩]
- Simon Cowell Backs Controversial U.K. Tax Break. Contact Music. [↩]