Sharon Osbourne was the first guest on “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday night, marking her first interview since she was dropped by “The Talk” last month for freaking out when co-host Sheryl Underwood challenged her defense of Piers Morgan’s attacks on Meghan Markle. In the interview with Maher, Osbourne blamed “disgruntled ladies” for losing her job, and said anyone who has accused her of uttering slurs is making it up.
Maher began the discussion with a rundown of what happened on “The Talk” that dramatically downplayed what actually happened.
“So on your ironically titled show ‘The Talk,’ you were talking. And if there’s one lesson from this, it’s that’s not allowed anymore. So I just want to say my view is nothing happened,” Maher said.
He continued, “Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave their interview with Oprah. Then your friend Piers Morgan — he’s a commentator in Britain — he said he didn’t believe things that Meghan Markle said. And then on your show, you said, ‘Well, he’s a good friend of mine and I don’t necessarily agree with his opinion but he is entitled to his opinion.’ So he was called the racist and lost his job, and you were called a racist and lost your job. Do I have it right?”
“You got it right,” Osbourne said. “That’s exactly how it went.”
In reality, that’s not really how it went. Osbourne’s outburst (watch here) included gems such as her saying she felt “like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist.” Or when she yelled at her co-hosts, “How can I be racist about anybody?”
“I’ve been called so many things in my life,” Osbourne told Maher. “I am so used to being called names, but a racist is one I will not take.”
“Yeah,” Maher replied. “It’s an insult if you’re not one.”
There have been multiple times when Osbourne has been accused of uttering racial and homophobic slurs. Former “The Talk” co-host Leah Remini said Osbourne has referred to Julie Chen as “slanty eyes” and “wonton,” and that she had angrily called Sarah Gilbert, who is a lesbian, a “pussy licker” and a “fish eater.” Remini also claimed Osbourne subjected her to slurs against Italians.
Another woman, an Iranian-American talent agent named Renee Tab, was reportedly subjected to slurs from Osbourne in 2003 when she won a raffle for a diamond necklace at a New Year’s Eve party for the Osbournes. Tab said Osbourne called her a “Persian carpet c—” the next day after inventing a story about Tab stealing the necklace — and then again a month later when they ran into each other at a restaurant. During the latter incident, Tab said, Osbourne also spit on her.
Maher very lightly probed Osbourne about these incidents.
“This is a part of culture that I’m not loving, where everyone is a snitch now. The current hosts have said they never heard you say anything racist. But some of the past ladies, they said you talk s—,” Maher said, referring to Remini’s claims mentioned above. “First of all, we’re talking about four ladies. I know men are dogs, and men are dogs.”
“And we’re bitches. That’s the way it goes,” Osbourne said. “That’s the way it goes with girls — ‘Jesus, did you see what she was just wearing?’ And then you go ‘Hi!’ or ‘You look great!’ We’re bitches, and that’s the way it is. And this has brought it all out.”
“It’s disgruntled ladies,” she added.
Then Maher brought up the incident with Tab. Osbourne told her version of that story, saying Tab shouldn’t have even been at the party — despite being the guest of someone who was invited by Osbourne’s son — and doubling down on her accusation that Tab stole the necklace. (It’s worth nothing that despite continuing to push that story after all this time, Osbourne did not pursue litigation after investigators decided it wasn’t a criminal matter.)
Notably, however, Osbourne did not deny using a racial slur against Tab.
“I don’t know what I said to her, but it wasn’t very nice. And I told her to bring that f—ing necklace back now, you b—- face whatever, because I had it,” Osbourne said.