Simon Cowell is in hot water after a former “X-Factor” contestant filed a massive lawsuit against him.
According to NME, Katie Waissel sued Cowell in 2010 for alleged breach of duty of care while still competing in the seventh season of the show.
Waissel was one of many acts who competed in One Direction’s reality music competition at the time. Waissel finished seventh, while the big boy band finished third.
Waissel revealed in a 2021 interview that after being dubbed the “most hated” contestant on the show, she had to go to therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, suffered panic attacks, and even suicidal thoughts.
In a statement to The Sunday Times, she said:
“I am pursuing a civil case of personal injury under negligence, which pertains to duty of care.”
Waissel even revealed that she was paid £1 for each live show appearance.
Waissel pursued a law degree and training after her stint as a musician in order to sue Cowell’s Syco Entertainment.
She received a scholarship and attended BPP University in London, where she completed her courses remotely.
However, the statute of limitations in cases like this could be an issue for her. A three-year limit is usually only granted in cases like these. If they are allowed to proceed, they will have to persuade a judge to overturn the decision.
She told the publication:
“The show ruined my life. There are so many of us who have been so trapped and it’s not fair, there was a huge imbalance in power. I just wanted to be able to understand [the contracts] and to protect people from being manipulated in the future.”
Waissel isn’t the only “X-Factor” contestant who has complained about the show’s treatment; Season 6 duo Jedward and Waissel’s season mates Rebecca Ferguson and Cher Lloyd have also expressed their displeasure.
She further said:
“I believe I can leverage my past experiences for the greater good and respectfully continue my efforts in building a safer industry as a whole, not only for those new entering it, but to provide a sense of justice and peace to all.”