Here's news NO ONE was expecting: Simon Cowell is reportedly expecting to become a first-time parent very soon.

That's surprising enough on its own, considering everything we've-ever known about the notoriously crabby 53-year-old eternal playboy. But, oh, it gets better: Who's the mother-to-be? The wife of one of his good friends. Whoa!

Socialite Lauren Silverman is "around 10 weeks along" with the 'X Factor' judge's baby, a source tells Us Weekly. The 36-year-old New Yorker is married -- yes, still! -- to Simon's buddy, real estate mogul Andrew Silverman.

But it looks as if the Silvermans' union was over, in spirit anyway, long before this baby-news shocker. "Lauren and Andrew have been unhappy in their marriage for some time, and their divorce has been in the works for a while," an insider dishes. "As their marriage deteriorated, she and Simon became close."

No reaction yet from Cowell's camp as to his impending fatherhood, but he's gone on the record about it in years past. He was less-than-enthusiastic about the prospect in a 2009 interview: "I couldn't have children. If I had them here drawing on the walls I'd go nuts." But in 2012 he was asked if he had had a change of heart on the subject of kids: "Well ... yes. And no. I do really, really like kids, because I can talk to them and listen to them. The problem has always been how much time you need to devote to bringing up kids. I've always dedicated all my life to work, and at 52, I've probably missed the opportunity."

It certainly appears as if he hasn't missed out on the chance, and it sounds as if he might finally be ready for fatherhood. Do you think the hyper-critical Brit has it in him to be a good dad? Sound off in the comments below!


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