Woman charged in break-in at Cow­ell home

The Washington Times Daily - - Television -

A woman ac­cused of break­ing into Si­mon Cow­ell’s house wield­ing a bro­ken brick and then hid­ing in the en­ter­tain­ment mogul’s wardrobe ap­peared in a London court Mon­day.

Leanne Zaloumis, 29, was charged with ag­gra­vated bur­glary af­ter the in­ci­dent Satur­day night, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

Prose­cu­tors said Mr. Cow­ell was watch­ing TV in the be­d­room of his London man­sion when he heard a loud bang com­ing from his bathroom and dis­cov­ered Ms. Zaloumis in­side with a brick.

Mr. Cow­ell’s se­cu­rity staff con­fined the in­truder to a be­d­room un­til po­lice ar­rived and found her in the wardrobe. Po­lice of­fi­cers drew their weapons as they ar­rested Ms. Zaloumis, and later found blood­stains in the bathroom, pros­e­cu­tor Paul Mitchell said.

The charge, read out in court, al­leges that Ms. Zaloumis in­tended to “in­flict griev­ous bod­ily harm upon a per­son therein and at the time of com­mit­ting the said bur­glary had with you a weapon of of­fense, namely a bro­ken house brick.”

She also is ac­cused of shout­ing at Mr. Cow­ell and hurl­ing items at his bathroom win­dow while stand­ing on a roof out­side.

Mr. Cow­ell, 52, has gained fame in both Bri­tain and North Amer­ica as pro­ducer and an acer­bic judge on TV tal­ent shows, in­clud­ing “Amer­i­can Idol” and “The X Fac­tor.”

Cow­ell spokesman Max Clif­ford said Mr. Cow­ell de­scribed the in­ci­dent as “just like some­thing out of a hor­ror movie.”

“He was shaken up,” Mr. Clif­ford said. “Strange as it might seem he feels lucky, be­cause it could have been a gun or a knife in her hand.”

Ms. Zaloumis, who ap­peared in court with un­kempt hair and wear­ing a baggy gray sweat­shirt, spoke only to con­firm her name and ad­dress dur­ing a brief hear­ing at West London Mag­is­trates’ Court.

Dis­trict Judge James Hen­der­son

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

“The X Fac­tor” pro­ducer Si­mon Cow­ell was “shaken up” af­ter a woman al­legedly broke into his home wield­ing a bro­ken brick. The sus­pect, Leanne Zaloumis, 29, was charged with ag­gra­vated bur­glary af­ter the in­ci­dent Satur­day night.

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