SHAKEN Simon Cowell called the police after “a suspicious character” seen loitering at his £10million mansion sparked another major security alert.
The drama comes after the TV and music mogul, 61, spoke of living in “constant fear” that an intruder could harm his young son Eric.
Sources close to the X Factor boss told how concerned staff noticed on CCTV that the stranger was hanging around at the West London property last Saturday.
Cowell has been targeted before and suffers “nightmares” over the thought of someone possibly getting into his lad’s bedroom.
A source yesterday told The Sun on Sunday: “There was a man loitering around outside Simon’s house, and his re-appearance on several occasions was a concern. Based on that, Simon wanted to have a chat with the coppers.
“He had been out at the time, but there were staff in the house and he was very concerned after he was told the man had been picked up on his CCTV.
“Because of his past experience, Simon takes security very seriously.
“This man could have been a stalker or could have been scoping out his house, as well as others in their neighbourhood, as targets for a break-in, so Simon felt it was necessary to have a conversation with the police.”
Cowell, his partner Lauren Silverman, 43, and their son Eric, seven, were not at home at the time. But Metropolitan Police officers were pictured leaving the property on Thursday after a 40-minute meeting.
The X Factor boss appeared shaken and anxious following the discussion, in which cops took down details of the man and were shown CCTV images.
That information will now be logged with the local police intelligence collator in case any further action is required.
The scare comes six years after serial criminal Darren February carried out a terrifying £1million raid on Cowell’s property. He burgled the place in the early hours as the family slept, and terrified Cowell later spent £500,000 upgrading his security system.
It is understood that the police officers gave him further advice following the latest scare.
Cowell has admitted he has a baseball bat close by at home after previous break-ins.
He has also been targeted by a man who later stabbed a book dealer to death.
Cowell’s security was first seriously breached in 2012, when a female obsessive broke into his home and hid on a shelf in his giant wardrobe holding a brick.
Leanne Zaloumis, then 30, was given a 12-month community order and a restraining notice after getting into his mansion while the star watched TV in his bedroom. Three years later, repeat offender February stole £950,000 of jewellery from the four-floor house, as well as two passports.
The prolific criminal had 37 convictions for burglary and later killed a man in a hit-and-run.
He was identified by a security guard who spotted him fleeing.
In a victim impact statement read in court, shaken Cowell admitted he was living in “constant fear” that an intruder could harm Eric.
He said: “This incident has caused me great concerns about the security of my family.
“On reflection, I am very scared of what could have happened to my son if the burglar had gone into his room.
“I could not bear to think of the consequences and also a lot would have happened if the burglar had come into our room. The whole incident has been very traumatic and there is a constant fear it may be repeated and that it may be worse next time.”
February, 33, was eventually jailed for eight years for the crime at Isleworth crown court in 2017.
After he was sentenced, a relieved Cowell told how he had transformed his house into a fortress to stop history repeating itself.
He added: “Now that this guy is in prison, there is an incredible sense of relief.
“The whole experience has been pretty traumatising and not something I ever want to go through again.
“I’ve obviously had to massively increase my personal security at home with every mod-con you can imagine, and all this stuff, including a panic room. My house basically looks like something out of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
“We called in these guys and one of the things they suggested was a baseball bat. I’m not even joking. So I literally have a baseball bat ready to go if anyone comes in.”
He went on: “It is almost irrelevant what he took — that is all just stuff. Jewellery, passports, none of that really matters.
‘IT IS TERRIFYING’
“What really got to me though was that this guy was walking about in my house when Eric was fast asleep.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened if he had gone into his bedroom, and found him. It is terrifying, and still gives me nightmares.”
Cowell has also previously spoken about increasing security on The X Factor in a bid to keep stars, contestants and crew safe.
Asked in 2016 if he was making changes, he said: “Yeah, we are. We are. You have to nowadays. There’s a really dark side out there and, Christ, you’ve got to be careful.”
Those comments came after Michael Danaher, 50, who stabbed antique book dealer Adrian Greenwood to death at his home in Oxford, was found to have a list of targets on his computer which included Cowell.
He went on: “It’s the crazy world we live in. I opened up a newspaper and you’ve got one guy who’s in court because he’s robbed my house, second guy has murdered somebody and I’m number two or three on his list.”
The Sun also revealed earlier this year how Cowell had ramped up the security systems at another house he owns in a different part of London.
After he bought it in 2018, he sought planning permission for a secret “blind spot” back entrance.
He is said to have invested in “top-of-the-range” security for the lavish property, and upgraded the lighting and cameras.
He also shelled out for three new vehicle gates, which included “new retractable bollards repositioned at the centre of the gates”. However, he is now believed to be selling the property.
Last night, the Met Police confirmed that officers attended a West London house. But it stressed: ‘’There were no crimes recorded and no police action of note.’’