After weeks of speculation it was confirmed yesterday that Nicole Scherzinger is replacing Cheryl Cole on 'The X Factor' in the U.S.

Now, head honcho Simon Cowell has apologized to Cole for the chaos surrounding the judging lineup on his new talent show, but insists that she wasn't fired.

According to The Sun, Cowell takes full responsibility for the decision to replace Cole with Scherzinger, and said he did it for her own good. He said she seemed out of her depth on the U.S. show, and so producers offered her a quiet exit with the offer of returning to her old job on 'The X Factor' U.K.

"The feeling was that she was slightly out of her comfort zone in America," he said. "The intention was to do it quietly and say to her she had an option to rejoin the UK show. ... At the end of the day we were saying, 'Move to another show for even more money'. There was an offer of around £2.5 million on the table including bonuses. How is that [firing] someone?"