WASHINGTON, DC --- Simon Cowell, the "butt-head" judge of American Idol, yesterday announced he will quit the show by the end of the week. Leaving his hotel two days ago, Cowell was assailed by five unidentified, masked individuals who tackled him to the ground, proceeding to shave his head with electric clippers.
"It was a terrible ordeal," a much more humble Cowell said. "Not one person came to my help. Instead, they were all cheering -- even the hotel staff."
Cowell said he spent the rest of his evening crying in the shower and eating chocolate. The next day, he rented Terry Gilliam's acclaimed The Fisher King - a deeply psychological drama about a "shock jock" whose abrasive on-air comments moves one of his listeners to go on a shooting spree.
"I watched that movie over and over again," he said. "And I cried, and I cried, and I cried. Then I took a long, hard look at myself in the mirror. I didn't like what I saw. Then I tried to leaf through the Gideon Bible in my night table drawer, but I couldn't see any of the words through my tears."
Cowell said his decision to quit American Idol is final, contract or no. His plans for the future are uncertain, he said. He did say that he wanted to do something worthwhile with his life.
"I could be an aid worker for the United Nations," he mused. "I'm no Jimmy Carter, but deep down, I'm a loving person - I think could learn to become one, at any rate, if people give me the chance. I could also do volunteer work in the inner cities: manage a soup kitchen, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, steer people away from drugs and gangs, help them build self-esteem,."
Tears streamed down his face as he recalled his brutal treatment of a recent contestant, Mary Roach.
"The poor kid was trying to hang onto her last shred of dignity, and I turned her into a laughing stock. I destroyed her dreams. I don't know if I can ever forgive myself for that. I'm going to have to learn to forgive myself for a lot of things. As soon as I get to know the real me."
Cowell said, he will not press charges against his assailants.
"Before I can learn to forgive myself, I will have to learn to forgive others," he said.