Simon Cowell's Gamu help

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Gamu Nhengu

Gamu Nhengu

Simon Cowell has enlisted the services of his lawyers in the hope of helping 'The X Factor' reject Gamu Nhengu and her family in the wake of their visa refusal.

Simon Cowell has pledged to help 'X Factor' reject Gamu Nhengu with her fight to remain in the UK.

The Zimbabwe-born singer - who faces deportation after her family's visa application was refused - is to receive the assistance of the music mogul, who has ordered his lawyers to take on the Home Office in the hope of assisting the singer in her plight.

He told The Sun newspaper: "We are helping Gamu and her family as much as possible and have lawyers working with her lawyers.

"It's not because we have to but because I really feel for their situation, and that's outside of the show."

The visa refusal came after the 18-year-old hopeful's mother reportedly wrongly claimed £16,000 worth of benefits during her eight-year stay in Britain.

However, there are fresh concerns that Gamu's newfound stardom will make her more of a target for violence if she does return to Zimbabwe.

A neighbour of her grandparents, who live in the village of Jonasi, explained: "Local Zanu leaders will have their eyes on her. They could be driven from their home or be victims of violence. It really would not be safe for them."

Meanwhile, judge Cheryl Cole has defended her controversial decision not to take Gamu through to the live finals of the ITV1 show, which begin tonight (09.10.10).

She said: "I understand why everybody felt strongly towards Gamu. I thought she was great too. It's always a tough decision. I'd have loved to take all the girls. I'm incredibly sad for Gamu and her family - but I have to stress the visa battle did not have any influence over my choice."

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