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Still defensive, Sharon Osbourne lobs ‘setup’ charges at CBS after ‘The Talk’ ouster

Sharon Osbourne.
Sharon Osbourne has accused CBS executives of setting her up on “The Talk” and said she was so humiliated that she had to undergo months of ketamine therapy.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Sharon Osbourne is still talking about the March 10 dust-up that got her kicked off CBS’ “The Talk,” insisting that the on-air incident was a “setup” by network executives. She also called it a betrayal by her co-hosts, who allegedly made a “secret pact” not to “hoodwink” one another on live TV.

Her humiliating departure from the daytime talk show made her feel like “an old shoe” and resulted in her undergoing months of ketamine therapy to deal with the trauma, she told DailyMailTV on Monday.

The 68-year-old host was fired after 11 seasons over a heated exchange with co-host Sheryl Underwood when Osbourne defended her friend Piers Morgan’s racist stance on Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Osbourne told DailyMailTV that she’s a victim of cancel culture and that she felt unprotected and used by CBS.

“It was as if I had gone in there with a machine gun and threatened to kill somebody,” Osbourne said in the new interview. “It wasn’t like I was coming in with T-shirts, with horrible slogans. I didn’t come in with a white hood, I don’t tell jokes about religion or color.”

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After a hiatus and investigation, “The Talk” returned Monday with Sheryl Underwood and her co-hosts opening up about Sharon Osbourne’s behavior.

Osbourne said the issue was a “pure freedom of speech” matter.

“A journalist friend of mine who wrote something that people didn’t like and then a few crazies out there go — ‘You must be racist, that’s why you’re saying it’ — about my friend Piers. It’s like, come on,” she said.

The British TV personality added that she went through a difficult patch after leaving the daytime talk show, which went on hiatus after the episode. Osbourne was also accused of racist behavior on set and said she had to hire round-the-clock security to protect her and her family against death threats.

(“The Talk” has since hired its first male co-hosts, Jerry O’Connell and Akbar Gbajabiamila, after subsequent departures by Carrie Ann Inaba and Elaine Welteroth.)

Former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila joins ‘The Talk,’ making him the CBS show’s second permanent male co-host since its October 2010 debut.

“I found it embarrassing. The humiliation that people would think that I might be a racist,” she said.

At the suggestion of former co-host Sara Gilbert, Osbourne underwent ketamine therapy, which psychiatrists sometimes use to treat severe depression.

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“I went through three months of therapy,” Osbourne said. “I had ketamine treatment, and I got it all out. All the tears and everything that I felt, you know. All of that, it’s gone.”

Gone, but apparently not forgotten.

Osbourne, who claimed that she and her co-hosts entered a pact not to let producers ambush them on air, accused CBS and show executives of “setting her up” in the race discussion with Underwood, who held Osbourne accountable for defending Morgan. However, CBS said it found no evidence of that she had been set up during its investigation.

Sharon Osbourne is off “The Talk” after a CBS investigation determined her recent conduct “did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”

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Osbourne responded on air by claiming that she wasn’t racist by association and that the co-hosts had a classic DARVO exchange (“Deny, Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender”). Osbourne tone-policed Underwood, who is Black, and denied any wrongdoing on her part. She told Underwood “not to cry,” because “if anyone should be crying, it should be me.”

The optics were not a good look for the older white co-host.

“We had a disagreement, and I told her she shouldn’t be crying, it should be me that should be crying, and that didn’t go down well,” Osbourne told DailyMailTV. “Then, in the commercial break, she wouldn’t talk to me. I was begging her to talk to me, and she wouldn’t, and basically I said, ‘Go f— yourself.’

“I would say that to any one of my friends. When you say it to a friend, it’s different than saying it to somebody, a stranger. If you can’t get real with somebody who you’ve worked alongside for 10 years, then you don’t have a friendship, and that’s the way I look at it.”

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Sharon Osbourne, who’s kept a low profile since getting booted from “The Talk,” will chat Friday on “Real Time” with cancel-culture critic Bill Maher.

Osbourne, who is still managing the career of her husband, musician Ozzy Osbourne, and is working on a book and podcast, said she hasn’t spoken with Underwood since the incident and doesn’t expect to. She also wanted to know why she didn’t get an apology for being left unprepared for 20 minutes on live TV.

“They could have cut at any time and gone to a commercial break, and why didn’t they cut?” she said. “They didn’t cut, because they liked the controversy and they liked that everybody would be talking about this because they needed something for the show that was going into the toilet. So they thought, ‘Well, she’s got the biggest following. Let’s go for her.’”

When reached by The Times on Tuesday, CBS did not comment on Osbourne’s allegations of a setup and reiterated its March 26 statement regarding her departure.

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‘The Talk’ producers and CBS ‘have no ethics,’ Sharon Osbourne says in a recording made March 10. In it, Elaine Welteroth says she also felt ‘set up.’

“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” the statement said. “As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.”

The former host denied any allegations of racism but said she won’t be embracing “woke culture.” However, she does wish she could change how the events unfolded.

“I wish I hadn’t been in that position, so that I could have held myself together more,” she said. “I would have definitely held myself together [if] I knew what they were going to ask me. So I would have been mentally and emotionally prepared.”


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