Simon Cowell Turned Down $130 Million to Stay on ‘American Idol’

How much did Simon Cowell want to abandon his American Idol judging duties? About $130 million worth.

A new excerpt from Richard Rushfield’s upcoming tell-all American Idol: The Untold Story reveals that former Idol judge Cowell—who’s since moved on to launch the American Version of The  X Factor—turned down a staggering amount of money to stay with the popular televised singing competition. The Daily Beast reports,

“In the summer of 2009, with one more year left on Cowell’s contract, Fox—represented by Rupert Murdoch himself—offered Cowell a staggering deal: to continue his services on Idol as well as to bring X Factor to America, Cowell would be paid in the neighborhood of $130 million a year.”

As previously reported, the famously cantankerous Brit was offered $45 million a year to stay on with Idol alone, and had been raking in a million $36 million a year to dash the dreams of music-biz aspirants prior to departing the show.

Meanwhile, the revamped Idol—with its new judges’ panel of Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and returning judge Randy Jackson—premieres its 10th season this week. While the specifics of Tyler’s contract remain elusive, Lopez reportedly received a $12 million deal for the gig. Wonder what Fox is doing with all of the money they’re saving…

Was Cowell crazy to turn down that kind of money, or was he right to move on? Share your thoughts in the comments section.