Simon Cowell Opens Up: 'I'm Proud to Be a Dad'
08/20/2013 AT 06:15 PM EDT
The X Factor judge, 53, addressed his situation for the first time on Tuesday, telling the BBC, "I'm proud to be a dad."
Cowell – fathering a child with Lauren Silverman, who wasn't separated at the time from now-estranged husband Andrew Silverman – went on to say, "It's something I hadn't thought of before, but now I know I feel good about it."
Keeping his distance from the mother of his unborn child until her divorce drama calms down, Cowell calls Lauren "a very special girl."
Adds Cowell, "Things are changing in my life right now for the better."
His positive comments follow an interview in 2009, when he said, "God, no, I couldn't have children. If I had them here drawing on the walls I'd go nuts. You've got to be up at a certain time. Got to listen when all you want to do is sit in a corner thinking."
But he had a change of heart last year, explaining, "I do really, really like kids, because I can talk to them and listen to them. The problem has always been how much time you need to devote to bringing up kids and I've always dedicated all my life to work, and at 52, I've probably missed the opportunity."