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By Sarah Bull
PUBLISHED: 07:20 EST, 1 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:11 EST, 1 August 2013
The world was stunned when it was revealed Simon Cowell is expecting a baby with his married lover Lauren Silverman.
But while the news came as a surprise to many, Cowell and Lauren's friendship is certainly not a new developments, as pictures show that the pair have been close confidantes for the past seven years.
Cowell met Lauren during one of his annual trips to the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados back in 2006, when she was on holiday with husband Andrew, from whom she has now separated.
August 7th, 2010: One of the first times Cowell and Lauren (left) were pictured together, during a holiday in France with his then girlfriend Mezhgan Hussainy
August 7th, 2010: Mezhgan and Lauren are seen sunbathing on the deck of Cowell's chartered boat
August 4th, 2011: Cowell and Lauren are seen on holiday together in St Tropez, where they were joined by his close friend Sinitta
August 4th, 2011: Lauren covered up in a beach cover-up as Cowell poured her a drink on deck
December 29th, 2011: Cowell and Lauren (far right) are seen attending the Hope-Martin Foundation Charity Auction in Barbados together
December 29th, 2011: Lauren was seen sitting next to Cowell's mother Julie and Sinitta
The pair quickly became close friends, and Cowell continued to invite both Lauren and Andrew on holiday with him for the next few years.
Biographer Tom Bower witnessed the beginnings of Cowell and Lauren's close friendship a year-and-a-half ago, when he spent time on a yacht called the Slipstream, which the mogul had chartered for £2 million a month.
In his biography, Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell, Bower noted that there were a number of high-octane glamour women who were competing for Cowell’s attention, but that Lauren was 'his closest confidant'.
Lauren, Cowell and Andrew were seen on holiday together in 2010, 2011 and 2012, with images of the group together even as recently as January this year.
January 4th, 2012: Cowell and Lauren were pictured chatting on the deck of his boat during a holiday in St Barts
January 4th 2012: The pair were also joined by Andrew on the break, and the trio were pictured in a cosy display on the deck
April 25th, 2012: Cowell and Lauren were both pictured a the launch party for Tom Bower's book Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowelll at The Serpentine Gallery in London
May 30th, 2012: Cowell and Lauren were seen leaving the same Miami Beach hotel following a Memorial Day Weekend celebration
August 9th, 2012: In their second holiday together in less than a year, Cowell and Lauren were pictured in St Tropez once again
August 9th, 2012: Lauren took the opportunity to show off her incredible figure in a tiny bikini during the break
October 28th, 2012: The pair were pictured house hunting alongside som friends in Los Angeles
October 28th, 2012: Lauren and Cowell were both seen puffing on cigarettes during the house hunting excursion
December 28th, 2012: Cowell and Lauren once again attend the auction for the Hope Sanctuary in Barbados, along with Sinitta and Mezhgan
December 28th, 2012: Lauren drinks a glass of wine as Mezhgan chats to Cowell
January 4th, 2013: Cowell and Mezhgan (blue bikini) are seen on holiday in St Barts with Lauren and Andrew
January 4th, 2013: The group looked in good spirits on the break
March 27th, 2013: The pair are seen leaving Saint Martin's Theatre after watching a production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap
March 27th, 2013: Lauren looked stunning in a black and green dress for the night out
June 25th, 2013: The last images of Cowell and Lauren, leaving London's River Cafe after a night out with Paul McKenna
June 25th, 2013: Lauren attempted to hide her face as she sat on Cowell's lap in the back seat of the car