Simon Cowell insists he has never fallen out with Little Mix - despite the band splitting from his record company.
It emerged last week that the four-piece girl group were leaving the music mogul's Syco label after Cowell said he would no longer work with their management group.
South Shields singers Jade Thirlwall and Perried Edwards and their bandmates Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock have enjoyed huge success since being formed on The X Factor back in 2011.
Now Cowell, the show's creator, has insisted he did not fall out with Little Mix, and told The Sun newspaper he will meet the band this week "just so they can hear it from me and I can hear it from them".
He said: "Everyone's like, 'There must have been something massive and that's why it collapsed'.
"Well, I can show you all the correspondence between me and the girls over the years, there's never been an instance when we've fallen out.
"As I said in my email to them, I stand by the fact they are the hardest working bunch of girls I've ever worked with. They deserve everything they've got."
Cowell added: "The only reason I got annoyed was that it's easy to paint this picture of Syco as this dark, awful place where all we're trying to do is rip artists off and make them unhappy."