LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sharon Osbourne lashed out on Thursday at suggestions that her family’s history of drug and drink addiction made them unsuitable to host a TV variety show.
Osbourne, her Black Sabbath husband Ozzy and children Jack and Kelly — who shocked and delighted audiences on their reality show “The Osbournes” — make their return to U.S. television as a family next week as hosts of a show featuring, skits, audience pranks and a sprinkling of four-letter words.
Kelly, 24, recently completed a second stint of rehab for addiction to painkillers, while Jack, 23, has struggled with alcoholism and Ozzy has spoken frequently of earlier addiction to drugs and drink.
Asked in a telephone conference call if their past would prove controversial in their new roles on the “Osbournes Reloaded” show, Sharon said it was “most ridiculous question I have ever been asked in my entire career.”
“I am really angry. Do you know how many people in this country alone suffer from addiction?
“All my family are examples of being truthful about their condition and working though it and trying to better themselves,” she said.
“We are a real family and we don’t pretend to be something we are not. I have taken real offense...probably half the people watching our show have someone in their family who has a problem with alcohol and drugs.”
Osbourne said her son Jack had been sober for six years and that she viewed him as a “beacon of hope to every young person in this country who is struggling with addiction.”
“We live in the real world, and this world is tough,” she said.
“Osbournes Reloaded”, which premieres on Fox on March 31 at 9.20 pm, features candid-camera style skits, occasional pie-throwing and a pair of “mini-Osbournes” played by British child actors who dress and behave as outrageously as Ozzy and Sharon themselves.
Sharon Osbourne acknowledged that some of the skits might prove controversial but said that none were mean-spirited.
“I don’t care (about the reaction). As far as my barometer goes, we weren’t being mean. It was all in good fun,” she said.
The heavily-bleeped MTV reality show “The Osbournes” about the family’s dysfunctional life in Beverly Hills ran for three years and won an Emmy award before ending in 2005.