Take it from Simon Cowell: Harry Styles would never spit on Chris Pine. In addition to talking about America’s Got Talent and the death of Queen Elizabeth II during his Thursday night (Sept. 8) appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the famously opinionated music mogul weighed in on a recent viral video in which the former One Direction star appears to spit on his Don’t Worry Darling castmate — which Cowell insists couldn’t have actually happened.
“That doesn’t sound like Harry,” he told Kimmel, who then wondered if Styles really had spit, but not on purpose.
“We all do that, you know when you gob on someone by accident,” Cowell continued. “He definitely, definitely wouldn’t do that — that’s not Harry.”
The incident in question happened three days prior to the 62-year-old TV host’s appearance on Kimmel, and took place during the world premiere of Styles’ upcoming movie, the Olivia Wilde-directed Don’t Worry Darling, at the Venice International Film Festival. The “As It Was” singer — who first rose to fame as a contestant on Cowell’s talent competition show The X-Factor — was captured on video seemingly “spitting” into Pine’s lap while taking his seat next to the Star Trek star.
Afterward, Pine’s rep told Billboard that the video was simply the result of an odd visual illusion, and said that “there is nothing but respect between these two men.” Styles also addressed the video at his Wednesday night Madison Square Garden concert, jokingly telling the crowd, “I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine.”
But just in case there’s still any lingering suspicions that Spitgate (a term coined by internet spectators) actually did happen, allow Cowell to put them to rest. “Harry’s very polite and charming,” he assured Kimmel. “I would tell you. He’s a very, very nice guy.”
The former American Idol judge also opened up about the one time he met Queen Elizabeth, who passed away at 96 the day of the interview. “She didn’t talk to me, she had no idea who I was actually!” he admitted. He also praised the impressive pool of talent he and fellow judges Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Howie Mandel have found on this season of America’s Got Talent.
“I promise you, the final on Tuesday, I think it’s the best contestants we’ve ever had,” Cowell said of his show’s season 17 finale, airing Sept. 13.
Watch Simon Cowell talk about Spitgate, Queen Elizabeth, AGT and more on Jimmy Kimmel Live! below: