Nicole Scherzinger forced to pull out of X Factor auditions

A family illness means she will be out of the country when auditions kick off next month

Is she coming or going? That is the question!

One minute Nicole Scherzinger was supposed to be ditching the X Factor for Wicked The Movie, the next she’d agreed to keep her seat on the judging panel.

Now, Nicole, who was set to start filming  X Factor auditions next month, has reportedly thrown the production schedule into disarray by telling bosses she will have to take some time out after receiving some bad news.

The schincredible judge has been told her auntie is suffering from a serious illness – and the news has come as a huge blow.

Friends say the 38-year-old superstar is extremely close to her relative and often looks to her for friendship and advice.

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This latest news adds more complication to an already pretty stressful return to the UK’s biggest singing show.

Last week, she was almost replaced by the dolphin-voiced diva Mariah Carey and Simon Cowell went as far as holding crunch talks with Nicole’s rival.

But Nic decided to squeeze The X Factor into her busy schedule.

But how will Simon deal with Nicole flying home to the US to be with her family because she will miss being away for the first auditions?

We can already hear Mariah Carey packing bags in preparation.

But wait one cotton picking minute, Maz. Simon’s got another thought in his head. He’s apparently gone and asked Mel B to sit in while Nicole is away!

Isn’t she a little busy dealing with a very messy divorce from her dodgy hubby Stephen Belafonte?

Possibly not, as she is already back at work filming America’s Got Talent so perhaps she can spare some more time.

Meanwhile, Simon has revealed the news of Mel’s marriage difficulties came as something of a shock to him.

“It came out in the press that I was advising her, she was with my lawyers – none of that was true, I had no idea,” he said.

However, having heard the news, he said that he and Mel’s fellow America’s Got Talent judges Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel gave her a big caring hug and lots of support.

“All we were trying to do was support her, because she’s our friend,” big-hearted Simon said.

Read more: Mum of missing girl issues desperate plea to Good Morning Britain

But Nicole had better watch her back because it has now emerged that it was actually Carey’s people who approached Simon’s people about snagging a seat on the judging panel! Sneaky!