Since her family’s reality-series debut on MTV, heavy-metal matriarch Sharon Osbourne has become a star in her own right – whether it’s guiding the career of husband Ozzy or watching over kids Jack, Kelly and (offscreen) Aimee.
Now, she’s stepping out on her own with The Sharon Osbourne Show, a syndicated talk show set to debut this fall, and her family is back for another season of their MTV hit. She spoke to PEOPLE during the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour.
You said last year that you didn’t want to do The Osbournes anymore. What made you change your mind?
It’s an idea of squeezing out every moment that I possibly can in my life, and at the time I wasn’t feeling too well and things in my life weren’t exactly great. When somebody says you have a 33 percent chance of survival, you kind of like to rethink your life. At that time, I thought if I had only three or five years to live, I didn’t want to live them all on the air. So it kind of makes you rethink things.
But why spend more of your life in front of cameras?
First of all, I am a show off. Secondly, I was one of those kids that was born into the industry. I was trained as a dancer and an actress as a kid. I never made it. So maybe it’s something inside of me saying, “I made it, but it is just a bit later.” I always wanted to do a talk show. Everybody has a little fantasy of what they want to do, and this was my fantasy.
Should celebrities be afraid to talk to you?
I would hope not. I don’t want to demean anybody. That’s not what I do. I wouldn’t want anyone to do it to me, so I wouldn’t want to do it to anybody. But I think there is a way of asking a personal question in a way that is dignified.
What are your passions?
My No. 1 passion is adolescent kids. Teenagers. My other passion is women’s rights. For example, a guy murders his wife, he gets put into prison. A woman murders her husband, she’ll get more time than the guy did.
You’ve said that you want to change some of your kids’ behavior. What do you want to change?
My son was hanging out with a lot of older people, like going up to the Playboy mansion. In hindsight I think, “What the hell was I doing, letting my 17-year-old son go to the Playboy mansion dressed in pajamas or to clubs where they would serve him alcohol?” I want my kids to hang out with people their own age.
The clip of the show we saw says you like to gossip. Any good dish to share?
You’ll have to watch the show. But I talk about everybody.
Are your management duties taking a back seat to the show?
Yes. I am going to give it to Jack to do. He can manage his dad. I have had it (laughs).
How is Ozzy doing with his alcohol rehab?
He has something like three days longer than Jack with his sobriety, which is I think about six months. So he is doing great.