Sharon Osbourne Denies New Allegations of Racism and Bullying as The Talk Extends Hiatus
A new report from journalist Yashar Ali alleges that Sharon Osbourne called former co-host Julie Chen “wonton” and “slanty eyes”
A Tuesday report from journalist Yashar Ali alleges that Osbourne, 68, referred to former co-host Julie Chen as "wonton" and "slanty eyes." Ali cited multiple unnamed sources, as well as another former The Talk co-host, Leah Remini.
Citing sources and Remini, the report further claims that Osbourne referred to former co-host and executive producer Sara Gilbert, who is lesbian, as "p---- licker" and "fish eater."
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Chen, an original co-host of The Talk, exited the show in 2018 after eight seasons following her husband Les Moonves' ousting from CBS. At the time, she said she needed "to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son." Less than a year later, Gilbert left her hosting position after nine years on the series.
Reps for Chen and Gilbert did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.
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In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Osbourne's publicist, Howard Bragman, denied the allegations against the British TV personality.
"The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host. For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the U.K. and other gestures of kindness too many to name," the statement said.
"Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment," it continued. "She will survive this, as she always has and her heart will remain open and good, because she refuses to let others take her down. She thanks her family, friends and fans for standing by her and knowing her true nature."
Later in the day, CBS announced that The Talk will extend its production hiatus until next Tuesday as they "continue to review these issues."
"CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions," reps for the show said in a statement to PEOPLE. "We're also very mindful of the important concerns expressed and discussions taking place regarding events on The Talk. This includes a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary."
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The show previously announced a production hiatus on Monday, less than a week after Osbourne defended friend Piers Morgan following the backlash for his controversial remarks questioning the validity of Meghan Markle's discussion on mental health during her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Her defense led to an intense exchange with co-host Sheryl Underwood during Wednesday's episode, who pushed back on Osbourne's downplaying of Morgan's comments. Osbourne apologized days later for her "panicked" remarks on air.
That same week, Holly Robinson Peete, who exited the daytime talk show in 2011 following its first season, claimed that Osbourne had complained she was "too 'ghetto,'" and alleged that it played a role in her departure.
According to the new report from Ali, Remini claimed that Osbourne didn't want Peete as a co-host on The Talk. Prior to filming the first season of the show, Remini said she went to lunch with Osbourne, who "tried to persuade [Remini] to join Osbourne in ousting Robinson Peete as a co-host," the report states.
Remini alleged that after Osbourne costarred with Peete on The Celebrity Apprentice 3, Osbourne said Peete "wasn't a good person, not to trust her and that we should find 'another Black person who is funny.' "
Though Peete and Remini both went on to host The Talk, their time was short-lived. The pair was fired by the end of season 1 at Osbourne's direction, multiple sources told Ali.
On Friday, Peete, 56, recalled her exit, which came after Osbourne's alleged name-calling on the show.
"I'm old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too 'ghetto' for #theTalk...then I was gone," Peete tweeted. "I bring this up now bc I was mortified watching the disrespectful condescending tone she took w/her co host who remained calm & respectful because...she HAD to. 🤦🏽♀️ 🤷🏽♀️ #fbf."
The following day, Osbourne denied ever calling Peete "too ghetto" or having a role in her exit from the show.
"In response to Holly Robinson Peete's accusation of me getting her fired from The Talk, I am sharing an e mail sent to me from Holly one month after she was let go by CBS," she wrote on Twitter. "As I have stated before, I have never had the ability/authority to get anyone fired from The Talk."
Alongside the tweet, Osbourne shared a screenshot of the alleged message, in which Peete seemingly claimed that Chen played a role in her exit from the show.
In a follow-up tweet, Osbourne wrote, "Never in my life did I utter the words that Holly was 'too ghetto' to be on the Talk, as well as not having her fired."