Sharon Osbourne’s recollection of her heated on-air debate with her co-hosts on The Talk is being refuted. The embattled talk-show host claimed that she was “blindsided” by the other hosts — including Elaine Welteroth — and said they came prepared with note cards and questions.
According to a source close to production, Welteroth didn’t have a card with notes or questions written on them for the conversation about Osbourne’s support of Piers Morgan.
The source adds, “Everything Elaine said came from her heart and own mind.”
The episode in question, which aired March 10, contained an emotional debate over Osbourne’s defense of her friend, Piers Morgan, and his controversial comments about Meghan Markle.
Osbourne claims that she was blindsided by Sheryl Underwood, who questioned her defense of Morgan, and was not sufficiently prepared by showrunners and producers. She believes her co-hosts “had preparation, they had written questions for them.”
Osbourne spoke with ETs Kevin Frazier on Tuesday and claimed that producers asked her if she’d mind if they talked about Morgan moments before filming, and she agreed to. However, shortly after the episode started, “Sheryl turns around and asks me this question and … she was reading it off a card. It wasn’t on my cards. And then Elaine’s reading her questions and I’m like, ‘I’ve been set up.’ They’re setting me up. My anger was like, ‘I cannot believe this, I’m your sacrificial lamb.'”
The Talk is currently on an extended hiatus amid an internal CBS review following the episode. Osbourne later apologized on Twitter “to anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said.”
Osbourne told ET she’s unsure what will happen to the show and whether or not she’ll return.
“I wish we could go on and have an adult conversation calmly and work it out but I don’t know whether we can,” she said. “I don’t know whether it’s gone past that. I would love to but I don’t know whether I even want to go back. … I don’t know whether I’m wanted there.”
Osbourne shared that she is willing to have an on-air conversation to further the discussion about race and make the whole controversy a teachable moment. She said that one of her newest co-hosts, 34-year-old Welteroth, especially wants to make this happen.
“I very much want to listen to the youth,” Osbourne noted. “Do I have my finger on the pulse of what’s going on, with the Black situation in this country? No. … The ins and the outs of the way the younger generation feel right now, I don’t have my finger on the pulse. Elaine does and Elaine very much wants to make this better and to have a conversation come out of this that will help other people and probably people of my age too that would help them.”
“I own up to what I did,” she added. “I can’t not own up. I said what I said. I got too personal with Sheryl. I should’ve never said stop her tears. She was hurting as I was hurting.”
Just after Osbourne spoke with ET, a new report surfaced on Tuesday afternoon from journalist Yashar Ali in which former Talk co-host Leah Remini claimed that Osbourne frequently used racist and homophobic slurs in reference to former co-hosts Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert. Osbourne has denied these claims.
“[I was] easily manipulated into a web of high school vitriol, hatred and bullying,” Remini claims in the article, alleging that Osbourne would refer to her “as a WOP and Guinea,” which are racial slurs used against Italians. “Not only did I do nothing about the racism and bullying I was receiving and witnessing, I was party to it. I had to own up to my own ugly.”
Remini later took to Twitter to thank Ali for his story and his reporting, sharing, “Thank you Yashar. I appreciate you reporting on this story when many didn’t for fear of being retaliated against. To those who spoke up, thank you. I hope more will get the courage to do so.”
Thank you Yashar. I appreciate you reporting on this story when many didn’t for fear of being retaliated against. To those who spoke up, thank you. I hope more will get the courage to do so.
Osbourne’s publicist, Howard Bragman, said in a statement to ET regarding Remini’s allegations, “The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host. For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name. Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment. She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down. She thanks her family, friends and fans for standing by her and knowing her true nature.”
ET has also reached out to Welteroth, Underwood, Chen and Gilbert for comment.
For more on the ongoing controversy surrounding Osbourne and her future with The Talk, see the video below.
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