September 11, 2003 12:43 PM

In an interview for ABC’s “20/20” with Barbara Walters on Friday, heavy metal matriarch Sharon Osbourne admits that she briefly left husband Ozzy Osbourne because of his recent substance abuse.

Fans of the couple know that Ozzy’s been on and off the wagon for years now, but apparently the problem became more acute around the time son Jack, 17, was himself entering rehab, reports Reuters.

“I just said, ‘You just have to stop,’ and he didn’t,” says Osbourne, 50, of her husband’s pill and alcohol habit. “And I said, ‘Well then, I’m going.’ And I packed my bags and I left.”

Osbourne says her husband quit drinking the moment she left but she needed to make sure he was going to stick with it and so she didn’t return for four more days.

“After four days I came back to see him. And he was trying so hard. So hard. Still is clean and sober,” she said.

The whole family is still learning to deal with Sharon’s much-publicized battle with colon cancer. Jack, who spent two months in rehab kicking alcohol and drugs, says he tried to commit suicide by overdosing because he was so despondent over his mother’s illness, which is now in remission.

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