London: Music mogul Simon Cowell broke his silence on why he sacked Cheryl Cole from the US "X Factor", saying he felt the singer was not in comfort zone in the American version.
Cowell also apologised for putting her through so much stress.
"The hardest thing to accept is that everyone has painted me as a monster because I embarrassed her, but the truth was I was protecting her. I just want people to be in the best place at the right time," Cowell told a newspaper.
"Knowing Cheryl like I know her, we noticed she was quieter than normal, looked a bit uncomfortable but I put some of this down to nerves. The overall feeling was that she was slightly out of her comfort zone in America, compared to what she was in Britain," said Cowell.
Cole, who had judged the British version of the show, filmed four episodes of the US version of "X Factor" before she was sacked May 25. On Saturday, the show`s bosses offered Cole her job back and gave her 24 hours to decide, reports mirror.co.uk.
"I apologise that all this has become public and I understand the stress she is under, and I hate that. But we have all been under a lot of stress," said Cowell hoping to still be friends with Cheryl.
"A hundred percent I have to take full responsibility because I do have a lot of sway. We are close friends. I still hope we are but sometimes when you`re that close, when you`re making these decisions with someone`s life you have to be certain."