Sharon Osbourne has hit back at claims she was PAID OFF to keep quiet after getting into a row with X Factor bosses.
Last week, the 65-year-old confirmed her departure from the show amid claims that she had been axed.
Following this, Sharon’s showbiz pal Howard Stern claimed that she was “paid to keep her mouth shut” after being fired by ITV bosses – however, Sharon has since confirmed that this is far from the truth.
Speaking to The Sun, she said: “I’m not going to be quiet for anyone. I’m at the age where I have earned the right to say what I want. I’m not running for Parliament and if I offend people, fine, then don’t listen, don’t read.”
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“They say there’s three sides to every story — their side, your side and the truth. Well, here’s my side. I have nothing to hide.”
Initially, the music manager was supposed to return as a full-time judge this year, but then her role was cut down to part-time, as she would just make an appearance during the live shows.
Sharon explained: “Look, it was getting ridiculous, enough is enough. I’m out and that’s it. I’m not angry with anyone and I don’t regret anything. My life will go on and so will The X Factor. It’s doing great.
“It’s not personal, it’s business. It’s Simon’s show and he can do whatever he wants with it.”
Rumours were rife that Sharon had been axed from the show altogether, after she slammed X Factor boss Simon Cowell in an interview with Howard Stern last month.
During the chat, she branded Simon “a f***ing pain in the a**e” who will do whatever it takes to get “his fat f***ing face on TV”.
Sharon also said she’d like to put a brick round his neck and drown him, and branded X Factor contestants as “little s**ts” who sing “f***ing karaoke”.
Addressing her harsh comments, Sharon explained, “I’m a big girl. I said what I said. I own it. I’m not blaming anybody. I joined in and had a good old laugh at other people’s expense, but it wasn’t meant to be vicious, it was just stupid.
“Did I mean it all literally? No. Am I going to tie a brick around Simon’s neck? I don’t think so! Are the contestants little s**ts? Of course not. I was just being a precocious child.”
“Howard’s show is very irreverent and everyone in America knows that you’re going to get bad language and hear outrageous things. Simon knows it too.
She continued, “A couple of years ago there was some leaked email where Simon had angled for Howard’s judge slot on America’s Got Talent, and I’d forgotten that Howard has this thing against him.”
“So he does this ‘You have a lifeboat and there’s one seat’ thing that he does with everybody and asks, ‘Would you take me or Simon?’ And I said, ‘I’ll take you and tie a f***ing brick round Simon’s neck’.
“You can’t take it literally. It’s like a dinner party where everybody is talking crap and you just join in for a laugh. I was just messing around, not wanting to hurt anyone.”
As for the harsh comments she made about the new judges, Sharon said, “Ayda’s great, Robbie too.”
“He and I have the same back doctor in LA and bump into each other there, and when Ozzy got his star on Hollywood Boulevard, Robbie came and gave a speech. If you remember, we also did two Judges’ Houses together in LA.”
The shocking interview took place on September 4, and two weeks later, Sharon got a call from one of the senior team at The X Factor.
“They said, ‘We’re very upset about it’ and I said, ‘I’m sure you are, but you know the context of what it is’.
“Anyway, I said do whatever you want, but just let me know. Then, about eight days after that, they called again to say, ‘We don’t think it’s going to work’.”
“To be honest, I felt relieved. I have been watching the show and it’s great the way it is. The four judges are good and have their own rhythm, so suddenly having five would be awkward. It would be like some relative turning up that you’re trying to find a gig for. It just didn’t feel right.
“Also, little Louis [Tomlinson] is just a bubba. He’s a really good judge who’s very invested in the acts but, sitting next to him, I honestly would have felt like his grandma, with Simon as his grandpa,” she gushed.
One hour after Sharon was essentially axed, she received a text from Simon’s girlfriend, Lauren Silverman, saying he’d like to talk to her.
“We spoke, and he said, ‘Darling I really don’t want you to go, I want you to stay. It’s going to be so much fun’.
“I said, ‘Simon, you really don’t want me back’, but he was insistent. He had this idea that I would be there to critique the judges, saying, ‘Oh Robbie, I don’t think you’ve chosen the right song for your artist’ or whatever.”
“I don’t know Louis well, but I know Robbie and Ayda and they’re great people, so how awkward would that be? It would be like, ‘What the f*** is she doing on this?’ So I said to Simon, ‘Let’s leave it for a week and see how we feel’.”
After the call, the mother-of-three talked it through with her husband Ozzy and their children – Aimee, 35, Kelly, 33, and Jack, 32.
“I was playing it over and over in my mind, but the gut feeling was still, ‘Sorry, it’s just not for me’. As I said, it just felt very, very awkward to be coming in halfway through something.”
Last week, The Talk host called X Factor bosses to confirm that she wouldn’t be returning.
When asked if she’ll still get paid, Sharon replied, “Yes, because I was locked in with a contract and while this was all going backward and forward — we want you, we don’t want you, we want you — I turned down two other big shows. I’m a businesswoman and they know they have to pay me. But I’m going to make a donation to Cancer Research.”
As for how Simon reacted to her decision, she said, “He just said, ‘OK, darling, whatever you want to do’, then his company Syco offered me a role on Australia’s Got Talent and I’ve turned that down too! So we’re all good. As I said, it’s just business.
“I’m not desperate to be on TV. I have been offered I’m A Celebrity and Strictly many times and turned those down.”
When asked if she’ll ever return to the X Factor judging panel, she said, “You never know the future, so who bloody knows? I only ever did The X Factor because I love it, and I still do. I’ve had so many great times on that show and I only ever think of it fondly.”
“It’s exactly the same story for Louis Walsh too, who I still speak to every single day. I think people forget that Louis and I have other things that we do in our life.”