But in an interview with fellow Britain's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan, scheduled to air Saturday on Piers Morgan's Life Stories: Simon Cowell in the U.K., the sharp-tongued Brit uncharacteristically opens his heart, confessing that he's "smitten" with new fiancée, Mezghan Hussainy.
"You confuse lust with love, you know, when you're in your teens and stuff like that," Cowell says. "It's a difficult thing to describe other than you know it when you are."
At times stumbling over his words, Cowell continues: "You just know when you've found somebody special and I feel very, very happy."
Cowell, 50, who will leave American Idol after this season, also hinted that children could be in his future. "I think I possibly need to have a few more Simons around," he said, though he admitted he was "kidding." Still, he says, "The thing about kids, it's like marriage, you know you have to believe you're in something that you're in for the long term – a hundred percent."
Cowell certainly appears to be in it for the long term with the Afghanistan-born Hussainy, 36, a makeup artist on American Idol who has been seen sporting a colossal diamond ring. "You've got to really, really like somebody because there's a thin line between love and hate," he says. "As long as you can retain that chemistry as well then it [is] the most incredible feeling."