Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman. She's pregnant, he's on the hook for child support.

Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman. She’s pregnant, he’s on the hook for child support.

Simon Cowell has it all, a booming career, substantial wealth, and at 53, he’s holding up fairly well in the looks department. But NY socialite Lauren Silverman played him like an “American Idol” wannabe. The only question is, why did he fall for it.

Silverman’s pursuit of Cowell is no surprise. It happens every day in New York City’s wealthy enclave.

Polished women sharpen their stilettos and prowl for wealthy older men in bars, clubs, posh hotels and the tony Hamptons. Like NBA groupies, the goal is to get pregnant and cash in on child support, which can range from $20,000 to $50,000 a month depending on the individual.

Cowell was the perfect mark. He’s rich, famous and totally entitled. His arrogance is probably only exceeded by his weakness for the fairer sex and his own perverse ego. Oddly, he could probably have done far better.

Silverman is smart, sophisticated and certainly cunning. But she’s no spring chicken at 36, and she’s not that attractive, although she does fit his type with dark brunette hair. No doubt she was fawning and played to his narcissism.

Given that he could have had hundreds of women who were younger, better looking and probably with their own bank accounts, the question is, why did he make a play to her?

The obvious answer is that she was the wife of his good friend Andrew Silverman. The idea that he was seducing the wife of a friend under his nose must have been a powerful aphrodisiac. She merely saw an opportunity to trade up and went for it.

In Manhattan terms, real estate moguls rank below bankers in terms of high-end desirability. Cowell, on the other hand, is top drawer. The fact that the Silverman’s owned only– only– a $4 million Hamptons home says it all. He’s a C-list player in those social circles.

But pregnancy? How gauche.

One thing to come out of the Tiger Woods sex scandal is how the golfer’s mistresses said Tiger insisted on sex without a condom. Sure, it’s better, but it’s the essential first step to the mess in which Cowell now finds himself. And, he fell for it.

Obviously, this matter could and should have been handled privately. But Silverman apparently wasn’t getting everything she wanted from the “X-Factor” boss and played the ultimate trump card… publicity.

Now Cowell is on the spot. It’s not the personal embarrassment, but the damage the tawdry scandal could have on his brand that he fears the most. He can handle the child support, but not the loss of endorsements or ability to do business.

So it’s no surprise that he’s putting out the message that he’s delighted with news that he is a father at 53. But what does that mean really? He’ll be in his 60s when the child enters elementary school and he’ll be over 70 when the child graduates high school. If he lives that long.

He’s already letting it be known that marriage is out of the question.

So at the very least, Silverman has won a very comfortable living for the next 18 years. Well played.