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Terrified Cowell steps up security after break-in

X FACTOR boss Simon Cowell was increasing security at his London mansion after a woman armed with a brick broke into his master bedroom.

The Britain's Got Talent boss was watching his own interview with ITV chatshow host Jonathan Ross on Saturday night, shortly after his BGT programme went head to head with BBC programme The Voice.

The 52-year-old was left terrified after discovering the woman upstairs in his house holding a brick.

His agent Max Clifford said Simon described the incident "like something from a horror film".

"There was a loud bang and Simon rushed upstairs to find out what was going on.

"It came from the bathroom so he went in -- and there was a woman standing there holding a brick.

"She had smashed her way in through the window but it was unclear how long she had been there or what she was doing," Max said.


Cowell immediately alerted his on-site security team, who detained the woman until the police arrived to arrest her.

She was taken to a nearby police station where she underwent a psychiatric evaluation.

"It was a very frightening experience for Simon, who told me it was like something from a horror movie. He was just very lucky that all she had a was a brick. She could have had a knife, a gun or any other weapon," Max added.

The woman, who was named last night as Leanne Zaloumis, is currently in police custody and was due to appear before London Magistrates' Court.

She is not personally known to Cowell, but it is understood she is part of a group of individuals who gather outside his house.Following the incident, Cowell is now stepping up security at his mansion.

His home, worth some €10m (¤11.96m), has a high-tech security system and is managed by a team of staff.

It is believed the woman is an "over-zealous" fan.

"Simon is one of the biggest stars in the world but he is very much a people person and doesn't walk around surrounded by bodyguards.

"He makes a point of shaking hands and speaking to people when he's going about his business.

"This is bound to make him more wary about being so open with strangers," an insider said.