London, April 16 (ANI): Former 'X Factor' judge Dannii Minogue has been left devastated and "in a dark place" after it was revealed that she shared nights of passion with Simon Cowell, according to her friends.
The reports added salt to her wounds as she was already reeling after her recent split from former Rugby League star Kris Smith - the father of her 21-month-old son Ethan.
In an explosive biography by former BBC journalist Tom Bower, Cowell is said to have told a pal: "There were a few bonks and then it petered out while I was in America."
But the TV mogul also claimed he felt a "genuine love" for the 40-year-old star.
"She's understandably distraught by all of this coming out just as she's struggling to cope with the breakdown of her relationship with Kri," a friend told the Mirror.
"It was all such a long time ago and to have to deal with it now in the wake of the last few weeks is just too much. She is incredibly raw and this is the last thing she wants to endure," the friend added.
But while Dannii - still a panellist on the Aussie version of X Factor - insists she doesn't personally blame Cowell for the disclosure, her inner-circle are furious at the claims.
They believe he has "thrown her to the lions" in not stopping the details being made public.
One said: "Simon allowed Bower hundreds and hundreds of hours of incredible access to chronicle every aspect of his life and even invited him aboard his yacht.
"Dannii was very much collateral damage in all of this. It's betrayal, pure and simple. And it looks very much now like Simon simply hired Dannii, used her, then spat her out afterwards.
"If Simon revealed the intimate nature of their affair to anyone, it is ungentlemanly and a betrayal," the friend added.
It was unclear if Cowell, 52, has been in touch with Dannii to apologise for details of their fling being made known.
He had allowed Bower unparalled access to his life at the suggestion of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who was -previously profiled by the author.
And he has so far refused to deny the claims of the affair.
His camp insists they were unaware what revelations Bower's "unauthorised" biography contained and he has been "betrayed" by vindictive friends who "destroyed" his confidences.
But Cowell is quoted directly in the book as saying: "I had a crush on her. It was Dannii's hair, the sexy clothes and the t**s. I was like a schoolboy. She was foxy. She was a real man's girl. Very feminine."
A source close to Dannii rubbished Simon's "pretend outrage" since the story emerged, saying he only has himself to blame.
The source added: "Simon is the biggest control freak ever. Everything in his world is controlled to within an inch of its life and it's very hard to believe that he wouldn't have known this was set to come out and not have tried to stop it through legal routes if he really wanted to."
In the book, there are several quotes from him hinting at the affair in 2007 - a year before Dannii got together with Kris, 33.
It describes how Dannii became Cowell's target when he changed the X Factor judging panel to include her, saying: "She'll be the new toy" - adding that he often ogled her bum.
Talking about the fractious relationship between her and Sharon, he said: "Dannii and Sharon Osbourne are at loggerheads. When I sit next to one, the other sulks. I have to try to give each one equal attention." (ANI)
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