Simon Cowell says Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was there for him when his mother died.

The 55-year-old music mogul tragically lost his mother Julie last month after an illness and he has revealed his fellow 'X Factor' judge was a voice of reassurance for him as he dealt with the loss.

He said: ''When you go through a tough time in your life you see who your real friends are. Cheryl was there, she was incredible - and that's the side that maybe she doesn't show to many people.

''But she is very compassionate and genuinely is a real friend. You don't get that very often in this business.''

And the 32-year-old beauty has revealed her friendship with Simon on the show has changed since the sad incident.

She said: ''Me and Simon are still rowing, but it's playful. He knows which buttons to press. But it's been a different circumstance this last couple of weeks, unfortunately, so it's been more banter than bickering.

''I love him dearly. And I have a huge amount of respect for him. And it's growing at the moment.''

Cheryl also revealed she has buried the hatchet with former judge Louis Walsh because of what happened to Simon's family.

She added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: ''We'd had a bit of a spat. But with everything that's gone on with Simon [and his mum] I thought, 'It's not worth it.'

''I texted Louis, like 'I know you're going to be affected by this' because they've known each other for ever, and I said, 'This is nonsense what's going on between you and I. And I just wanted to say it's forgotten about'. He gave me a really nice message back so I think we've made up now.''