Simon Cowell: I Almost Had Sex With Paula Abdul

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Now that's a shocker!

Nine years into working together side-by-side on both American Idol and X Factor, Simon Cowell admits that he once considered hooking up with his on-screen foe, Paula Abdul.

Dubbed "Mr. Nasty" during his Idol days, Cowell, 52, told Barbara Walters on the TV titan's annual 10 Most Fascinating People special Wednesday that he couldn't go through with bedding her because he was afraid of the aftermath.

"I mean, the truth was, on the first two seasons, we couldn't travel on the same plane together. We really disliked each other that much," Cowell told Walters, arguing that they clashed due to "sexual tension…on her part."

Asked by Walters if Cowell thought Abdul, 49, wanted a relationship with the reality mogul, the acerbic Brit replied "a million percent."

"I considered it, but then I thought, 'I don't think the after would be as good as the before.' I'd let her stay for a few hours, but then it would have to be goodnight," he joked.

Abdul isn't the only one clamoring for Cowell.

Though she denied Cowell's claim that the pair went on a Beverly Hills dinner date when she was eight months pregnant, Denise Richards once called the X Factor judge -- engaged to makeup artist Mezhgan Hussainy -- "a hot piece of ass."