Simon Cowell has thrown his weight behind the campaign to save snubbed X Factor star Gamu Nhengu from deportation to Zimbabwe, it was revealed today.
The music mogul’s lawyers have been drafted in to help the 18-year-old singer in her battle to stay in the UK.
The prospect of being sent back to her homeland has been hanging over the teenager after her mother’s visa application was turned down.
Cowell said today: ‘We are helping Gamu and her family as much as possible and have lawyers working with her lawyers, not because we have to – but because I really feel for their situation, and that’s outside of the show.’
Multi-millionaire Cowell, 51, maintained bosses at the ITV1 show were not aware of Nhengu’s visa situation while she was on the programme.
Last night, X Factor bosses demanded that Cole accept responsibility for Nhengu’s exit from the show.
The 27-year-old originally claimed that she was told to axe the 18-year-old Zimbabwean due to her ongoing visa issues.
But she was forced into an embarassing u-turn after Simon Cowell and ITV bosses were worried about damage to the X Factor brand.
Cole defended her decision today, saying: ‘I understand completely why everybody felt so strongly towards Gamu. I thought she was great too like all eight girls but what the public saw was an edited version of what the audition process actually involves.