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By Kat Giantis
Beneath Simon Cowell's moob-accentuating shirts and shag carpet of chest hair beats the heart of a big old softie. Just days after the "American Idol" judge went public with his "secret" squeeze, "AI" makeup artist Mezhgan Hussainy, engagement rumors have started swirling and he's made an uncharacteristic declaration of devotion.
"I'm smitten with Mezhgan. I think she's the one," Simon enthuses in a sit-down with Britain's ITV1 series "Life Stories" set to air next month (via the New York Post). "She's very special. You know when you've found somebody very special."
But he clammed up when asked whether he planned to settle down with the 36-year-old stunner, who he reportedly met in 2003 and began dating about six months ago.
"No comment," responded Cowell, 50.
Still, it appears he's had a total turnaround over the idea of being domesticated: "I think I need to have little Simons around."
(And suddenly, a new reality show competition takes shape: "American Idol" meets "Toddlers and Tiaras," as judged by Cowell's future rug rat once he or she learns to talk and masters the art of the soul-crushing put-down.)
Fueling the betrothal rumors is the massive diamond ring Hussainy was showing off on her all-important finger following a Valentine's Day dinner with the moneybags mogul in London.
RELATED VIDEO: Simon Cowell on his "AI" exit
According to the London Daily Mail, the bauble set him back nearly $400,000 and came with a complementary (and equally expensive) bracelet.
But did it also come with a proposal?
"This is something that Simon isn't telling many people, but they are engaged," a snitch alleges to the tab. "Simon loves Mezhgan, it's as simple as that. He's an incredibly instinctive person and this is just right. When he turned 50 in October, he was forced to evaluate things and really think about what he wanted from life."
And apparently really think about his previous anti-marriage stance.
"Simon's asked us all to keep quiet about the engagement because, I think, after everything he's said over the years, he's a bit embarrassed by it," a mole adds to the London Daily Mirror.
Or maybe he's a bit embarrassed because he hasn't actually gotten down on one knee.
His publicist and longtime friend Max Clifford assures Us magazine that Simon remains committed to his bachelor status.
"I asked him, 'Look, are you engaged? Is it true?' and he said, 'No! No. I'm not engaged,'" Clifford says of his interrogation of Cowell on Wednesday. "Yes, they are an item. Yes, they're happy. But they're not engaged. That's straight from Simon's mouth."
In 2008, Cowell didn't hold back when asked about making things legal with then-girlfriend Terri Seymour.
"I don't believe in marriage, certainly not in this business," he told the Daily Mirror. "The truth is that you get married and in a year or two they clean you out!"
Simon met the Afghanistan-born Hussainy in 2003 when she was tapped to do makeup for "American Idol." They reportedly bonded last year while working on the makeover of insta-star Susan Boyle.
"[They] started off as friends," an insider recently told the Daily Mail. "She is a great girl. She is down to earth and not in the least bit starstruck."
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From Crowd Ignite