Paula Abdul: Simon Cowell Will Be a Loving Husband

Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul

Steve Granitz/WireImage; Fitzroy Barrett /Landov

updated 06/13/2010 AT 7:00 PM ET

originally published 06/14/2010 AT 1:40 PM ET

Now that Simon Cowell is engaged to girlfriend Mezghan Hussainy, Paula Abdul says the American Idol judge might show a softer side once he’s married.

“That’s left to be determined!” Abdul told PEOPLE backstage at the LG Electronics gift lounge at the Tony Awards. “I know Simon so well and honest to God, I think he’s at that stage in his life where he’s a grown-up Simon now, making him a great and loving husband. But he still has that little bad boy in him.”

Cowell and Hussainy have been dating for nearly a year and met several years ago on Idol, where she’s a makeup artist. When news broke in February that the couple were engaged, Abdul says she was shocked.

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