The talent show judge was seen in tears at Josh Daniel’s audition, having been moved by his rendition of Labrinth’s ‘Jealous’, which he dedicated to his late best friend.
Fans know that Simon suffered his own loss just days before filming for the series started, as his mother Julie Brett died aged 89.
Clearly still grieving his mother’s passing, he was unable to offer feedback to Josh, and had to walk out of the arena.
After the emotional scenes aired on ITV, ‘The Apprentice’ boss Lord Sugar appeared to claim it was an attempt to boost ratings.
“Simon on X Factor might have been crying because his trousers were too tight. Is this pathetic or what. The public are not that daft,” he tweeted.
“X factor taking p... out of the public. My 2 grandkids rolling with laughter over a couple of the pathetic stooges.”
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When one journalist tweeted support for Simon, the businessman was angered, given the TV critic had previously disparaged ‘The Apprentice’.
“You have a bloody liberty taking the p... out of my show. Compared to this pathetic stuff,” he wrote.
Fans branded him “heartless” and “insensitive”, as they pointed out Simon’s mother’s death, but he seemed not to care, continuing to tweet his criticism.
@Lord_Sugar low blow. We all know why he was crying you heartless sod— Haylie Sale (@HaylieSaley) August 30, 2015
@Lord_Sugar It might have something to do with the recent loss of his mother. The public aren't daft, but you are.— Joseph Wignall (@Joe_Wignall) August 30, 2015
@Lord_Sugar are you serious, his mum died shortly before this was filmed you arrogant idiot— Giselle (@ItsGiselleJay) August 30, 2015
@Lord_Sugar that's right Sugs. You drum up the publicity before the new series of The Apprentice 😡— N A T H A N (@Nathan_Saunders) August 30, 2015
@Lord_Sugar How insensitive. He lost his mother a few days before that. Shame on you Lord Sugar.— Ceri Gravenor (@ceri_gravenor) August 30, 2015
Watch the heartbreaking scenes from ‘The X Factor’ in the video below...