She said in an exclusive ET statement, “None of us wanted that day to go how it did and I do not regret sharing these feelings in a private conversation with a colleague.” The 34-year-old went on to address allegations that she and a hairstylist complained to HR about Osborne and allegedly said the set was a “racially insensitive and hostile environment.”
Welteroth responded, “To set the record straight, I never filed a complaint with HR against Sharon Osbourne or anyone else. I am disheartened, however, that I was recorded without my consent and that my kindness has been taken out of context and weaponized in an attempt to absolve responsibility for someone else’s actions.”
At the beginning of the audio, Welteroth is heard saying, “Sharon I’m just so sorry that that was that that went the way that it went.” A teary Osbourne replied “You know what it is though? When you have to sit there and defend yourself it makes you look guilty because you can’t get out of it.”
On March 10, Osbourne got into a emotional debate with co-host Sheryl Underwood while defending her friend Piers Morgan days after he was deemed a racist for making distasteful comments about Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, on “Good Morning Britain.” Morgan stormed off the set and later resigned after his co-host Alex Beresford pointed out to Morgan that he continuously tries to “trash” Markle and confirmed that Markle is “entitled to cut you off if she wants to.”
In the leaked audio, Osbourne said “they,” presumably the network’s executives or producers, “don’t care. They just want numbers, numbers, numbers.” Welteroth went on to assure Osbourne that Underwood is indeed her “friend” and that both she and Underwood don’t “think you’re racist.”
“Why couldn’t she say ‘I’ve known you for 11 years, I know you are not racist.” Instead of ‘I don’t think you are.’ ” Osbourne went on to say about Underwood. “There’s a huge difference,” Osbourne said she has approached Underwood previously about educating her on her “heritage” and that Underwood has referred her to some literature to read.
Later on, Welteroth also explained to Osbourne that “Sheryl and I are held to a different standard by Black people and people of color out there who expect us to say something about every racist … and it puts us in such a f-cked up position … It feels like a spotlight is on us.” Further into the audio Osbourne said “CBS set me up,” and added, “and they don’t care ’cause they just want ratings.” After the on-air dispute, the network went on a hiatus to conduct a review and on March 26 Osbourne exited the show.
Just one day after the audio leaked, the CBS talk show announced “Pictionary” actor Jerry O’Connell as the show’s newest co-host to replace Osbourne. O’ Connell will also be the first male co-host the talk show has had.
Welteroth ended her response to the audio leak by acknowledging her excitement for O’Connell’s arrival. “I was honored to join ‘The Talk’ to add my voice to important and lively conversations. I am so excited about the next chapter with our new co-host Jerry O’Connell and I am grateful for the new perspectives he will bring to the show.”