Music mogul Simon Cowell has acted quickly to defend himself against reports he rolled his eyes during an American Idol contestant's tribute to the students of Virginia Tech University on the TV talent show last night (17Apr07).
Internet sites went crazy after the incident with critics accusing judge Cowell of being insensitive to singer Chris Robinson's message to friends caught up in the aftermath of Monday's (16Apr07) campus massacre.
TV cameras captured Cowell making a sarcastic gesture as Robinson said, "My hearts and prayers go out to Virginia Tech. I have a lot of friends over there... Be strong."
But he insists he wasn't listening to what Robinson was saying and was caught up in conversation with fellow judge Paula Abdul.
Speaking on show host Ryan Seacrest's Los Angeles breakfast radio show this morning (18Apr07), Cowell, who made his own tribute to the students of Virginia Tech during American Idol, admitted he was horrified to become a target of nasty stories.
He said, "You get this crazy story that appears that I rolled my eyes disrespectfully at Chris because he made the comment... The truth was I had switched off at that point and I was talking to Paula.
"I did wanna clear this one up because this is a very sensitive subject. The irony was is that we did want to set the right tone on the show."