Simon Cowell is said to have sacked his burly bodyguard, Tony Adkins.
Tony spoke to The Sunday People and blasted the decision to let him go, adding that he wasn’t even offered an explanation for his sacking.
He said: “It feels like a slap in the face. I considered Simon to be a friend but he hasn’t even sent me a text, or asked one of his assistants to contact me to explain what’s happened.
“After six years together I just got a phone call from the production team to say they were getting in a new security company.
“They couldn’t even tell me to my face. I had to hear it on the phone. I feel well and truly shafted.”
Tony recently split up with his long term partner Michaela and blames the exposure he received since being on X factor and Britain’s Got Talent. He said: “She didn’t like the long hours I worked. Then I started getting a lot of attention from female fans, which she didn’t like.”
He said: “I was being asked for autographs and photos all the time. It was always the producers who wanted me on screen – as far as I was concerned I was just there to look after Simon.
“But I do wonder if that’s why they didn’t want me any more, even though it was them who made me a character.” He added: “I used to have a laugh with Simon and had got to know him well over the years. His family was lovely.
“His brother Tony was even helping Michiela market a snoring aid she had invented. I thought we were all quite close.
Richard Holloway, executive producer of The X Factor said: “Tony was employed by Talkback Thames and not Simon, as the judges’ guard.
“I explained to Tony personally that we needed to beef-up our security system for this series as the show is now much bigger.
“It was nothing against Tony, we just needed to make a change. We haven’t encouraged his on-screen persona but he has appeared in shots behind Simon over the last five years.”