Simon Cowell has admitted he’s “embarrassed” that details of the X Factor finalists contracts were leaked – but maintains that the winner’s prize IS worth £1 million.

Reports emerged on Wednesday that the final 12 contestants were made to sign a contract which included a clause legally preventing them from bad-mouthing judge Simon.

But Simon – famous for his cutting comments towards contestants – said he was ’embarrassed’ by the leak – especially as he was unaware of this particular clause.

He told press ahead of Saturday night’s live final: “I wasn’t aware that I was one of the clauses, which was that you can’t be horrible about me.

“That’s a useless clause because everybody does talk horrible about me. And you know what? I don’t care. I genuinely didn’t know it existed – very embarrassing.”

The 80-page contract also reveals that the winner – either Alexandra Burke, JLS or Eoghan Quigg – will only receive £150,000 from their £1 million record deal prize up front.

He said: “With regards to the money side of things, it’s £150,000 [advance] to the winner, and that’s a lot of dosh.

“Add in the recording costs, which is between £300-500,000, video is £200,000, £250,000 advertising, £150,000 marketing and we make over a £1 million commitment to the winner. That’s why it’s described as “a million pound recording contract’.

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