Simon Cowell has fathered a child with New York socialite Lauren Silverman, according to the Mail Online.

Lauren is married to Cowell's friend, Andrew Silverman, and it is believed the real estate tycoon filed for divorce earlier this summer. Sources close to the couple told Us magazine the split does not come as a surprise.

"Lauren and Andrew have been unhappy in their marriage for some time, and their divorce has been in the works for a while. As their marriage deteriorated, she and Simon became close," the source explained.

"Lauren loves Simon, she says that she wants to marry him. And with the baby, she's going the right way about it! But I think this could be really good for Simon," a second source said.

News Lauren is pregnant has been confirmed by Rosy Davis, who is married to her father. She said: ''We are all excited for the baby. It's beautiful. We feel blessed. Any kid is a blessing.''

Cowell's mother, Julie Cowell, says she has no official confirmation but is delighted nonetheless and cannot wait to become a grandmother.

"I've not heard anything officially. But if it's true then I'm absolutely delighted. It's wonderful! He'll make a fantastic father. He'll be great," she said.

Meanwhile, tweets and comments from friends and celebrities have begun flowing in, with Britain's Got Talent (BGT) judge David Walliams saying: "Oh yeah, and @SimonCowell is doing a baby with a lady. For the record @SimonCowell and I tried to have a baby together for many years. But I just couldn't get pregnant."

Cowell's former flame, American singer Sinnita, has also taken to Twitter, to say: ""Something has just happened ..half miracle, half nightmare! #WakeMeUpIWantToGetOff!!"

Lauren is reportedly 10 weeks pregnant and is already mother to a seven-year-old boy, Adam, from her present marriage. And Cowell has reportedly accepted the child is his.

However, sources close to the 53-year-old say he is quietly uneasy about the thought of a relationship with Lauren and is preparing a legal route to defend his £225m fortune. The Mail reports he has hired Los Angeles-based lawyer Marty Singer to handle the situation.

"Simon is in no doubt the child is his... has been very stressed in the last few months with his various shows and juggling everything. In the harem hierarchy, Lauren is regarded as the fun, party girl. Simon is [said to be] freaked out by this but there is no question that he will not support the child," a close friend of Cowell explained.