Sheryl Underwood Breaks Silence After Sharon Osbourne's The Talk Exit, Says They Haven't Spoken
Sharon Osbourne announced last month that she was leaving the daytime talk show following a heated on-air discussion about racism with co-host Sheryl Underwood
In a three-part series on her podcast titled "Sharon Walks Away," Underwood addressed the heated on-air discussion she had with Osbourne last month that led to the daytime talk show going on an extended hiatus as CBS launched an investigation into the matter. Ultimately, it was announced on March 26 that Osbourne was stepping away from the show.
For more on Sheryl Underwood's response on Sharon Osbourne's exit from The Talk, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.
During the March 10 broadcast of The Talk, Osbourne, 68, defended her friend Piers Morgan after he faced backlash for making controversial remarks questioning the validity of Meghan Markle's revelations about her mental health during her interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Osbourne's stance led to an intense exchange with Underwood, 57, who pushed back on her co-host's downplaying of Morgan's comments.
Their conversation quickly turned emotional when Osbourne told Underwood to "educate" her and warned her not to cry during the episode. Osbourne later apologized for her "panicked" defense of Morgan.
Since the initial confrontation, she and Osbourne have not spoken, Underwood said on her podcast.
When asked whether Osbourne reached out to her directly to apologize, Underwood gave a definitive "no" and then went through her phone history to confirm. (A rep for Osbourne previously told PEOPLE that Osbourne had reached out to Underwood.)
Underwood also addressed Osbourne's previous claim that CBS executives set up the conversation about Morgan and "blindsided" her. Underwood said she was the moderator and "none" of the questions she asked came from higher ups.
Underwood added that even before the discussion went south, she was already trying to be mindful about framing things "in a way that was not perceived as attacking."
"In my gut, I thought this was going to go left," she recalled. "And so I wanted to put it in its proper order, be very calm, but there were a few people that criticized me on that — 'Why do you give any f---- about somebody's feelings? They give no f---- about yours.' It's not about the reaction of the person, it's about me and who I'm trying to evolve and mature to be."
Though Underwood said she and Osbourne became "fast friends" when Underwood joined The Talk for its second season in 2011, she noted that she had "heard things" about the British TV personality.
"I automatically just fell in love with her because I just like her. And I heard things and I was like, 'They got nothing to do with me.' My thing is I'm going to get to know you first," Underwood said.
"I had heard things, and I got phone calls of this and that and so what I said to those people, I said, 'Thank you for the information.' Because listen, in this business you've got all types of personalities, right?" she continued.
Underwood did not share specifics about what she heard about Osbourne, but when asked whether any of those things were later confirmed "in hindsight," Underwood said yes.
As for whether she regrets anything about how the situation unfolded, Underwood said she regrets the whole controversy happening in the first place, even though she believed it was inevitable.
"Sometimes in life, something happens and you go, 'Gosh, if I just would've...' There's nothing I could have 'just would've' — this was going to happen, out of my control," she said. "Sometimes you don't want to know what you know, you don't want to feel and hear what you feel and hear, don't want to accept what you have to accept."
Moving forward, Underwood said she's focusing on her own growth, as well as the evolution of The Talk. She also told her podcast co-hosts that she still has positive feelings towards Osbourne and her family.
"I still love the Osbournes, from what I've known of them," she said. "I don't know anything other than what I've experienced with them, and this thing that has happened is disappointing to me."
"And maybe people don't want to hear me say, 'I still love the Osbournes.' I'm not saying I liked being treated the way I was treated," she added. "I'm very disappointed. And I'm just trying to navigate my feelings about that because it was a trauma."
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Since her controversial conversation with Underwood, Osbourne has been accused of a number of additional instances of racism, homophobia and bullying on the set of The Talk, all of which she has denied.
On March 16, journalist Yashar Ali published a report alleging that Osbourne used racial slurs while referring to her former The Talk co-host Julie Chen, citing multiple unnamed sources and another former co-host, Leah Remini.
Osbourne called the claims "crap, all crap," in an interview first given to Daily Mail, but repeated the racist language. (PEOPLE confirmed the veracity of the quotes, as reported by the Daily Mail, and Osbourne shared a similar statement.)
Ali's report further claimed that Osbourne referred to former co-host and executive producer Sara Gilbert, who is lesbian, as "p---- licker" and "fish eater."