Sharon Osbourne on the Kardashian Family: They Brilliantly Manipulate Their Lives
The Talk co-host gets candid with PEOPLE in a wide-ranging new interview
As a co-host on The Talk, Sharon Osbourne isn’t afraid to open up.
Sitting down with PEOPLE for a candid new interview, the country’s first reality show matriarch spoke openly about a wide range of issues, including her take on reality TV’s current reigning family – the Kardashians – to getting into the best shape of her life thanks to the Atkins 40 program to preparing to welcome a new grandchild, expected in June.
Summer’s coming and you’ve got some big plans. How are you feeling about the new baby?
It’s such a joy. It was always just the five of us, but now I have a daughter in law; I’m about to have a second grandchild and I have in-laws, so the family is totally different.
You would never know you’re going to be a grandmother again – you look fantastic!
I’ve been doing Atkins for three years, it’s unbelievable. It gave me structure to a part of my life that I had very little self-control over. I always had bad problems with my weight, flip-flopping all the time, so it’s something that taught me to take care of myself.
Your family pioneered family reality TV with MTV’s The Osbournes. What do you think of reality families today?
Ours came organically: Nobody came to us and said, “We’ve got an idea, will you do this?” With the Kardashians, it’s amazing because I look at it in a business point of view and I see those three gorgeous girls influencing a young generation. But I also think they should be awarded for manipulation of the press and all of us because they do it brilliantly. I don’t think the show is real, which is no problem, but they’re manipulating their lives as long as the public is concerned.
We never know what’s going to happen from one minute to the next with them … Who would have thought that you could make a book out of silly pictures of yourself! I mean, it’s brilliant on a business level – it’s absolutely brilliant.
You were in talks with VH1 to revamp The Osbournes. What happened?
We couldn’t come to an agreement on both sides. It was business, not personal. And it’s hard with someone like Ozzy who travels the world: I can’t pull him out of his life for a certain time and say, “This is what you’re going to do” because his life isn’t going to stop. He has a life.
Would you consider doing another reality show?
I don’t know, you never know what’s around the corner! I honestly don’t know.
You have such a strong voice on The Talk. What’s the greatest advice you ever received?
You know what, I didn’t really get any. I learned from my own mistakes. I wasn’t close with my family so I learned from my own mistakes. I kind of think that if you don’t get it right by the time you’re 40 or 50, you are never going to get it right. I think it’s time: We all need time to grow as people and time to know, “Oh, maybe I should have an opinion about this or maybe I shouldn’t.”
What do you think about expressing yourself?
Being opinionated gets you in to trouble. A lot of people really don’t like others being opinionated, they would rather you sit on the fence instead of having a strong opinion on something. I get it but that doesn’t mean I still don’t put my foot in my mouth – I do!
I’ve always been very opinionated. I don’t want to hurt people, I don’t get a kick out of embarrassing people or being disrespectful, but if you ask me I’ll answer. I don’t mean to do it in a mean way to anyone.
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How is Kelly doing after Fashion Police? Did you bestow any advice to her?
I was there for her when she needed it. But you know, when you’ve been five years working with a person who you love and are such great teachers as Joan and Melissa – it wasn’t just Joan, it was also Melissa Kelly had a friendship with – you can’t help but feel a loss. It was a huge decision for Kelly to make, but I agreed with the decision. It was time for her to move on.
The show was never the same and it never will be the same. I’m not saying that it’s not going to be hugely successful in another format, but what they had is gone and it was time for Kelly to go. It wasn’t an easy decision.
Your family seems to stand apart from the rest of Hollywood? You don’t conform to its version of reality.
We as a family never fitted in to that group of faux-reality. Never tell me a secret because I will tell everyone, I can’t keep my mouth shut!