Simon interview in the Mirror (UK)

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Feb 6 2005

By Ben Todd, Showbusiness Editor

DURAN Duran star Simon Le Bon has told how he became so depressed that he was close to giving up music - just before he put the band back together and they conquered the world all over again.

And as Duran Duran's latest single What Happens Tomorrow broke into the top ten, Simon revealed how his supermodel wife Yasmin finally helped him overcome the demons that left him fearing for his life.

"I was suffering from a real lack of confidence," says Simon. "I did not think I had any ideas or any songs left in me.

"It felt like I was in a bath and someone had pulled the plug out and all the water was flowing away. I just had that feeling of sinking, thinking, it's all going, everything I have done.

"It got so bad that I thought, 'God, I don't know if I can last any more, I'm gonna knock it on the head'."

But it was some straight-talking from Yasmin that eventually helped Simon put his life - and his career - back on track.

"Yasmin is the most amazing person and very strong, a lot stronger than me," says Simon. "She told me, 'You can't carry on like this. You've got to change'. And I did. I owe Yasmin so much There are times when I could not have carried on without her support." Yasmin's words during his deep depression four years ago acted as a trigger for Simon to put together the original line-up of Duran Duran for the first time in 20 years.

Since they reformed two years ago the band have become chart stars all over again - with a hit album Astronaut as well as collecting an Outstanding Contribution To British Music gong at last year's Brit Awards.

There's a 45-date tour of the States starting this month as well as a massive homecoming concert at Birmingham City's St Andrews football stadium in May.

And despite such a hectic schedule Simon insists nothing will tear him and Yasmin apart, although he openly admits that they have had their share of "ups and downs".

He even accepts that on occasions the only thing that has kept them together is the fact they are married.

"Sometimes just that signature on that bit of paper is the only thing that's going to keep you together," he says. "It's just the idea of being married... and that's a good thing.

"But you've got to really want a marriage to work. You've got to really believe in it.

"And you can't underestimate the power of children's love. They are like glue in a marriage.

"That's why you must never ever use them as a kind of weaponry in any argument as you can destroy their love."

Duran Duran's comeback tour in 2003 led to unfounded rumours that the Le Bon marriage was in trouble.

Simon said the most distressing part of it was having to sit down their children, Amber, 15, Saffron, 13 and Tallulah, 10, and reassure them their parents were staying together.

"Yes, we were seriously worried about the effect these stories were having on the kids," he says. "We had to tell them it just wasn't true. We had to as they do worry, particularly the youngest, Tallulah.

"It's crazy but some people seem to want to see Yasmin and me having trouble.

"I don't know why. We don't think of ourselves as a celeb couple.

"We don't go to lots of openings and have our photos taken. We don't try to get publicity. We still live in South West London and keep ourselves very private. I still can't understand why some people are so desperate to say, 'Hah! Le Bon's marriage has failed...we told you it was too good to last."

Simon, 46, and Yasmin, 39, first met when he saw her picture in a model agency portfolio when Duran Duran were at the height of their fame. In true rock 'n' roll style, he got his manager to speak to her agent and the couple had their first blind date at the premiere of Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom in 1984.

They married the following year and have been together ever since.

And the whole family will be together as much as possible on Duran Duran's tour of the States.

"I'll get them to come out wherever we are when they have a break," says Simon. "They will definitely come out when we are in Los Angeles. Yasmin loves to see the band on tour. She is the biggest Duran fan on the planet. I guess that's a pretty good thing."