Sharon Osbourne has harsh words – and an obscene gesture – for those involved in her resignation from… The conversation.
The subject – as well as other ups and downs she endured during her time in the spotlight as a TV host, reality star and manager – is the subject of a ETN Nation documentary series titled, Sharon Osbourne: To Hell and Back which debuts on Monday. Osbourne gets real with Yahoo Entertainment about being removed from the Emmy-winning ETN daytime talk show after 11 seasons amid racism controversy, saying she’ll likely never work in the US again after she’s what she regards as ‘cancelled’. She and husband Ozzy recently announced that they are moving back to their native England.
“I thought to myself, this is it,” she recalls her resignation in March 2021. “Working for over 50 years in this industry and this is going to be it. This is it. Am I going out as a racist? heartbreaking. And it was like, Why, why did this happen? Why?”
As she tells her side of the story in the four-part document – about defending her boyfriend Piers Morgan after he accused Meghan Markle of making up accusations of racism from the British royal family – The Osbournes alum is at her most outspoken. She fires f-bombs at those she says have wronged her, literally gives ETN the finger and reminds us that the network is imperfect, citing former CEO Les Moonves (and husband of her former The conversation co-host Julie Chen)’s sexual misconduct scandal. She tells us all she has left is that her truth lost her job and credibility when ETN’s internal investigation found her behavior “was inconsistent with [company] values.”
“Let’s face it, they destroyed my credibility in America,” she says. “Let’s be For real truthful. It’s like: I have nothing to be afraid of. Their accusations were wrong and twisted and distorted.”
Osbourne, who says she was not remorseful enough for the network, continues: “We were not dealing with a company that runs religious programs. This company is just like any other – ruthless – and will do what they have to do not to to get some spot on their network [don’t want] anything that will rock the boat…”
Asked if she’s considering suing ETN, she says, “Of course I could have. But do I want to waste two, three years of my life on it? No, I don’t want to do that. What for?” She also mocks reports that she left the network with a payout. She says she got “nothing… a ‘goodbye’. It was just like in the movies when people are let go [and] you get out your box full of stuff. That was it.”
The boat was shocked when Osbourne backed Morgan who suggested Markle lied in her infamous Oprah Winfrey interview. The interview with Markle-Prince Harry was also broadcast on ETN, with the network investing a lot of money in it. The next day, Osbourne’s co-hosts Sheryl Underwood and Elaine Welteroth accused her on-air of unconscious racism, which Osbourne claimed turned them on by show producers and ETN executives. Welteroth, who later left the show, and her hairstylist later filed complaints about a “racially insensitive and hostile environment” on set, which led to the show being interrupted so that ETN could conduct an internal investigation. During that time, Leah Remini, a co-host of Osbourne’s in Season 1, alleged that Osbourne used derogatory language against co-host Sara Gilbert, who is a lesbian, and Chen, who is of Chinese descent. Osbourne insisted she was not racist and denied using defamation against Chen.
Osbourne invited Underwood and Welteroth to appear in her document, but they declined. She is clearly hurt by what she considers Underwood’s betrayal as she considered her a close friend as they worked side by side for ten seasons. The doc details that friendship, talking about Underwood visiting Osbourne in the UK and referring to himself as “the Black Osbourne” in a 2018 podcast interview with the Osbourne family. While Underwood recently said she missed Osbourne, Osbourne tells us she’ll never put makeup on her.
‘Never. No. Never,” she replies. “Why? Why should I? I’ve worked with someone all these years, sat next to her, traveled the world with her, laughed with her, cried. No, because she’s not a friend.”
For the record, Osbourne remains friends with former co-host Carrie Ann Inaba, who defends her in the document, as well as Amanda Kloots, who remains on the show with Underwood and three new co-hosts. “Mrs. O” is also friends with Gilbert, with whom she speaks often, and says all the comments she made about her were not malicious.
“The point was that I would say those comments to Sara on the broadcast,” she says. ‘They are that stupid. So stupid. It’s something between Sara and me.’
Asked if she’s spoken to Remini, who has put forward the claims, she says, “No, but I wouldn’t do it because she scares me. Because she’s cray-cray… So I’d never talk to her.”
The document was created by Osbourne’s son Jack’s production company. He’s in it as well as Ozzy, daughter Kelly and Osbourne’s friends, who talk about how deeply hurt she was by the racist accusations. She has suffered depression in the aftermath and was undergoing ketamine therapy, with Jack saying she was still “fragile” from it.
Osbourne says she was troubled by her family being swept up in the “absolute madness” of it all. Not only did she receive death threats—which led to the hiring of security—but the trolling spread to her family.
“It didn’t hurt me about me. I know what I am,” she says. “But when they started with my kids and my husband, it was like — now this is ridiculous. This is absolute madness. And that really pissed me off.”
Even her pets were threatened with death, she says. “Will they slit their throats? It’s like: you idiots. You idiots out there. But these idiots can influence you. Unfortunately, it’s the world we live in.”
This whole experience is partly behind her and Ozzy’s recent announcement that they are moving back to England from LA, which has been their home base for 30 years. He has called “school shootings and massacres” in the US before the move, while saying she does not feel safe either. But the UK is also where the work is in the middle The conversation precipitation. Earlier this year, Osbourne joined Morgan on his UK TalkTV show, which is also, confusingly, mentioned: The conversation. She and Ozzy are also going to make a ETN reality show, At home in Roost, about their return to the English countryside, where they had a house. It’s also where Osbourne wants to grow old with the Prince of Darkness.
“I mean, look, [England is] where I was born,” she says. ‘It’s my home. I’ve always been proud to be British. I’ve never been one of those people who went to America and then had a Middle Atlantic accent. I have always remained true to who I am. And that’s how it works for us now [to return].”
Finally, “I’m also working on Ozzy’s movie coming out through Sony Pictures, and I’ve got so many things I’m doing,” she says, referring to Ozzy’s first #1 on Billboard’s top album chart this week. “And I can do it anywhere. I don’t have to be in LA”
Plus, “I don’t think anyone will ever take me back to America,” Osbourne says after the ax a year and a half later. “I don’t think they will.”
The four-part docuseries, Sharon Osbourne: To Hell and Back, premieres Monday on ETN Nation.