Sharon Osbourne, co-host of The Talk and the U.K. X Factor, dishes on everything from Anthony Weiner to Justin Bieber in a wide-ranging, refreshingly candid conversation. (Warning: Lots of F-bombs!)
Sharon Osbourne has run out of fucks to give. And she’s always been a breath of fresh air, whether it’s on the hit MTV reality series The Osbournes or her current gigs cohosting CBS’s daytime talk show The Talk and U.K.’s The X Factor, which she has returned to for one last hurrah after a six-year hiatus.
In a lengthy interview with The Daily Beast, the media personality—and wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne—weighed in on a variety of topics.
Congrats on your daughter Kelly’s engagement.
Thank you, dear. We’re very, very happy.
With The Talk, if you could diagnose the show, what would you say is working best, and what do you think needs work?
The thing I love about our show is we’re five very, very different women, all self-made, and we all share our lives openly with our audience. We don’t try to be experts on anything—because we’re not—and we just give our views in an honest and open manner. We like to stay away from politics, because it’s a more serious issue, and at the time of day our show is on, people want to be entertained. They don’t want to be pounded over the head like the news. It’s a fun, pop-culture escape.
Speaking of politics, though, the big story right now is Anthony Weiner.
I think he wrote something on his penis and sent a picture of it. Was it “Big Dirty”? Fabulously insane. I mean, this guy is out of his fucking mind. What is going on? We’ve got the mayor of San Diego and the guy running for mayor of New York City, and they’re both out of their fucking minds!
Is it ever a good idea for a guy to send a woman a picture of his penis?
Oh, my god! You know that they’re fuckin’ out of their mind and they’re just a predator. That closes the door. It just closes the door. It’s like, for fuck sake! You’re a grown man with a great education, and you think, in this day and age, you can send pictures of your penis over the Internet and not get caught? Now, how fuckin’ stupid are you? What makes him think that he has a sense of freedom to do that?
Ego gone wild, I think.
It is! And it’s like, “Oh, you little prick.” I’d like to slap him. He did a news interview today where he seemed so smug and said he only wanted to talk about issues. You want to talk about issues while you sent a picture of your dick, with writing on it? Where do you want to start? And he cares about the middle class? What a crock of shit. But the thing is, what gets me, is he was so constant with this bad behavior, and you put a man like that in office, how much time is he going to spend fucking around with his dick, and how much time is he going to spend on the people of New York? Because it’s an obsession. It’s like being an alcoholic or a drug addict.
I do love that his online handle was “Carlos Danger,” though. Have you and Ozzy ever used pet names or funny nicknames for one another?
I’ll tell you something: we are so fucking boring. We look at these people and go, “People say we are insane?” Ozzy’s had his fill of groupies from time to time, but that comes with the territory. And it’s like ... what the fuck are these people doing? It’s insane behavior.
You have a great Twitter account, too. I saw that you weren’t very happy with the recent Rolling Stone magazine cover featuring Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
I think it’s absolutely disgraceful. They made him look like a rock star. I thought it was Serge from System of a Down at first. I looked at the picture and went, “Oh, Serge has a cover! Brilliant!” and then Jack and I saw who it was, and we were like, “What the hell are they doing?” They have great journalists at Rolling Stone, but if you want to cover this, put the victims on the cover. You could have done something more tasteful than make him look like a rock star and put power behind these people. They want media attention for their causes, and we’re giving them what they want. How many murderers have women who write to them in prison? A lot. Now, young girls will see this guy, and he is a good-looking guy, that little shit, and they’ll say, “Oh, he’s so sweet.” Fuck him, and his mother, and his father, and his brother. We all know magazines are on the downward scale. Rolling Stone used to be a fuckin’ magazine, now it’s like a tear sheet. There’s nothing there. Just go online and cut to the fuckin’ chase. Don’t lower your standards and strive for sales.
This is going to be an awkward transition…but why did you decide to come back to U.K.’s The X Factor?
[Laughs] I chose to leave because I was uncomfortable there at that time with a woman that was on the panel.
Dannii Minogue, right?
Yeah. She’s insignificant, but at that time, I let her get under my skin and I should have been the bigger person. But hey, I chose to leave. That’s all in the past. I wanted to end it on the right note. I’m only doing it this one season, it’s been 10 years, and I want to end it on the right way.
Now, your job on The X Factor is to judge musicians. Can you give us some snap judgments on current musical acts?
I think she’s brilliant. She is a great role model for young people, and she’s got a brilliant business mind on her. She just ticks all the right boxes.
Brilliant. Ozzy and I idolize him. We say he’s the best all-arounder. He’s funny, he can sing, he can write, he can produce, he can act. This guy has it all.
I have no time for him. He bores me. I said it on the show, he’s an average-looking man with an average talent, but he’s a great salesman. He should sell cars because they would fuckin’ fly out the door. He’s his No. 1 fan.
I feel really bad for him. There’s this little kid with a huge dream, he’s cute, girls love him, and he wants to be a mean boy, and he’s about as mean as a fuckin’ kitten, and he’s trying to act out. It’s like pissing in a bucket. It’s like, “Oh, we’re the bad boys!” Fuck off! You don’t know what bad is. And I think that he’s lost, I really do. I think he doesn’t realize he’s white and not black, that’s a huge problem. And, at the point he’s at in his career, it’s so dangerous because we’ve seen it all before a million times. Where do you go when you’re a child entertainer and then you want to transition to be a man? Very few make it.
What’s your take on the U.S. version of American Idol?
I love Mariah. I adore her and could just watch her for hours. They’ve fired the production staff and fired the panel, so I have no idea what they can come back with.
There’s been a lot of in-fighting between Mariah and Nikki Minaj.
[Laughs] She tries too hard to be something. Do you know what I’m saying? She puts too much effort into it. It’s like, just be yourself. She’s a talented, gorgeous young woman, so just take a breath and be yourself.
Congrats also on Black Sabbath’s recent No. 1 album.
It went No. 1 in 13 countries! And an act that started 43 years ago has never come back and had a No. 1 album. They delivered. They were working, from beginning to end, for three years, and all their hard work paid off.
I’m not sure if the rumors were bullshit or not about you and Ozzy splitting a few months ago, but what happened there?
You know what, to have addiction problems ... I have an addiction to fucking buying things, and everyone has an addiction in life that they need to address, and for Ozzy, it’s a drug and alcohol addiction, and he slipped really badly. Well, he didn’t slip, he fuckin’ fell. At that time in my life, I couldn’t handle it. I just said, “You’ve got to get out and come back when you’re sober.” It was not a case of divorce. I would never divorce my husband. Ever. I love him too much. He’s far from perfect, and I’m even further from perfect, but I’ve known him for 42 years, and we’ve been a couple for 33. That’s my life. You just don’t walk away from people because they have a problem—unless they write on their cock and send it all around the world!
What’s your take on The View’s shake-up? Pretty big news with Elisabeth Hasselbeck leaving and Jenny McCarthy taking her place.
It needed a shake-up because the show attracts a 50-plus audience, and it’s very dry and very straight. It’s not entertaining. Yes, you can find out what’s going on in the news that day by watching The View, but it really isn’t entertaining for me. I idolize Barbara. She’s an amazing woman. But I think the panel was very dry and boring. I think Jenny will make it sexier and more current—a little bit more relatable. It had just gotten so political and so straight that you couldn’t really relate to it, because everyone on the show was so fuckin’ good. It’s like having a panel of five fuckin’ Martha Stewarts. You just turn it off.
You and Ozzy have been through so much as a couple. What was the most trying time for you guys?
Probably when Ozzy was drinking and I was drinking when we first got together. It was fucking insanity. Everything from slashed wrists to beating the shit out of each other. We were both wild. That’s why I look at people like Justin Bieber, who says he’s a wild boy, and I’m like, “Get back on the titty. You have no fuckin’ idea what bad is.” My father was a fuckin’ two-bit gangster and I was raised into some heavy shit.
Angelina Jolie recently made headlines with her piece for The New York Times about her preventive double mastectomy, and I understand you had the same procedure done. Why did you decide to have the operation?
I’d had the genome test done, and in the genome test it had come up that I had the gene, and at that time, I’d had an implant in my breast that had leaked, and it was going to be a major operation, and with me having the gene, I was like, “Just get rid of it.” But my situation is nowhere near what Angelina’s was. She had lost her mother and her aunt to it, and she has all those babies to take care of. I’ve had my life, and she hasn’t yet.
You’ve accomplished so much. Are there any other mountains to climb?
Well, I voice this character on the Disney show Jake and the Never Land Pirates for the little ones, and I’m going to do a book for them. I like doing all these different projects. To work for Disney and do something that’s nice, and really makes little kids happy, is amazing, and then I do my music, and my TV. But I’m really happy with my lot in life. I am working on a movie for Ozzy. That will be my final thing. I want to get Ozzy’s life story turned into a movie.
So not a documentary but a feature film? And who would you want to play Ozzy?
Not a documentary. A movie. And it wouldn’t work with anybody but an unknown. It’s really very hard to play people who are still alive, so I’d want a great young English actor who’s totally unknown. We’ve got a writer working on the screenplay as we speak, and hopefully we’ll secure a deal and go ahead. We’re taking it from the 1970s to the late ’80s, because you can’t cover a whole life in one movie.
One of my favorite stories about you, and I’m not sure if this is true or a myth, is that you used to send boxes of shit to people in Tiffany’s boxes who wrote bad shit about your family.
It’s like one of those old rock ’n’ roll fables. I did it three times only, and I did it in the early ’80s, and I’ll never do it again. And it wasn’t for bad reviews. People can review and it’s their opinion and you never argue with it, but when they print lies, I’m like, “I’m not standing for that shit. So I’ll send you shit.”
And the Tiffany’s box was an amazing touch.
Of course! Because who doesn’t want to open a Tiffany’s box?