Simon Cowell, a judge on FOX's "The X Factor," was watching an interview of himself on the British talk series "The Jonathan Ross Show" at his $14.2 million London home on Saturday night when he heard a loud bang.
Prosecutors say a woman named Leanne Zaloumis had broken into the mansion. Cowell spotted her and alerted his security team. He was then escorted back to his bedroom, the UK Press Association reported. The police were called and Zaloumis was found wielding a broken brick and hiding in a closet. She was arrested. Blood marks were found in the bathroom.
Zaloumis, 29, appeared at a London court on Monday, March 26, and was charged with aggravated burglary with intent. She did not say anything at the hearing other than her name and southern London address. The woman is due to appear in court again on June 12.
The 52-year-old's spokesperson, Max Clifford, told the ITV show "This Morning" that the reality star was "still shaky" after the break-in but has since "settled down."
"He went to investigate and there was a woman standing there. His housekeeper was there and his security was close by so she was quickly apprehended," the UK newspaper The Daily Mail quoted Clifford as saying on the program.
Clifford told ITV that Cowell now plans to beef up his security team at the house.
The incident occurred the same night as the premiere of the sixth season of "Britain's Got Talent," another show Cowell co-judges. He had appeared on "The Jonathan Ross Show" to promote the program. "Britain's Got Talent" co-judge David Walliams joked about the trespassing incident on his Twitter page, saying: "Yes I admit it. I broke into @SimonCowell's house last night dressed as a woman."
Cowell, known more in the United States for his 9-year-long run as an "American Idol" judge, also maintains a home in Los Angeles, where he resides when he is filming the FOX series "The X Factor."
Season 2 of the series, which is based on a show that also airs in his native United Kingdom, is set to premiere on FOX in September with new judges to replace Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, who left earlier this year. Auditions began earlier this month.