Simon Cowell Calls for 'Red or Black' Winner to Give Back Million Dollar Prize

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He says producers were put in a "horrible position" after Nathan Hageman, who served time for assaulting a girlfriend, won.

LONDON - Simon Cowell has stepped in to address the growing unease over the debut winner of his new British gameshow, Red Or Black?, saying the winner of the first million pound ($1.7 million) prize should examine his conscience over the award.

"I'd like him to give the money back but I'm not in a position to force anybody to do anything. That's why he got the money," Cowell said in a hastily arranged briefing for showbiz reporters in London Thursday.

"If I was him I know what I’d do - I'd give away the money to the person he had the altercation with and a charity. I would do it," he said, according to The Sun.

31-year-old Nathan Hageman was the first winner on that is understood to be ITV's most expensive show, costing $25 million for a seven night run in the flamboyant, casino-style giveaway.

But the victory was marred when it emerged that the builder had been sentenced to five years in prison for a violent attack on a former girlfriend.

Hageman had told the show's producers that he had served time, but told them that the victim of his attack was a man.