Simon Cowell has dismissed a dog belonging to fellow judge Paula Abdul — because it was eating more expensive restaurant meals than he was.
Tulip the Chihuahua would regularly join Cowell and '80s singer Abdul for gourmet dinners at the end of a day while on the road filming auditions.
The miniature pet would sit on Abdul's lap or a chair and devour her own main course, washed down with Evian — because the dog doesn't touch tap water.
Abdul would split the restaurant bill "three ways" with the 51-year-old multi-millionaire, a source close to her entourage said. "It was pretty gross. Tulip would wolf down her entire plate in seconds and then bark, whine and beg at Simon for his food," a source said.
"He told Paula she had to put a stop to this — that it was unhygienic and embarrassing.
"I gather the final straw for him was that one day Paula ordered a main course for the dog that was more expensive than Simon's. He just couldn't get his head around that."
The exasperated tycoon has now banned Tulip from his table. "Paula adores Tulip, but she's not going to argue with Simon, especially after what happened to Cheryl [Cole]," the source added.
Cowell's spokesman declined to comment.