Leah Remini says people had a fear of being ‘retaliated against’ if they ‘spoke up’ about Sharon Osbourne’s alleged behavior

Sharon Osbourne Emmy Awards 2019 Getty
Sharon Osbourne attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
  • A new report details allegations that “The Talk’s” Sharon Osbourne “bullied” her cohosts.
  • Sources told journalist Yashar Ali that she “has a long history of racist language and bullying.”
  • Remini later said people didn’t report on the story earlier “for fear of being retaliated against.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amid ongoing reports of Sharon Osbourne‘s contentious behavior on the set of CBS daytime show “The Talk,” new allegations about the co-host’s “history of racist language and bullying” have emerged.

Multiple sources, including Osbourne’s former “The Talk” co-host Leah Remini, told journalist Yashar Ali that Osbourne “would frequently refer to then-co-host Julie Chen, who is Chinese American, as ‘wonton’ and ‘slanty eyes.'”

Ali’s report also says Osbourne called another former co-host, Sara Gilbert (who is a lesbian), a “pussy licker” and “fish eater.”

When reached for comment, Osbourne’s representative Howard Bragman referred Insider to the statement provided to Ali, saying he had nothing further to add.

Here’s the statement Bragman gave to Ali:

“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 UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name. Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment. 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.”

A CBS spokesperson provided the following statement to Insider:

“CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions. 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. The show will extend its production hiatus until next Tuesday as we continue to review these issues.”

“The Talk” previously aired every Monday through Friday. The first hiatus began this Monday and was only intended to last for two days.

But now the show will be off the air until at least next Tuesday. A source told Insider that CBS’s schedule for this upcoming Friday and Monday had always included a scheduled preemption of “The Talk” due to the NCAA tournament, so the new hiatus is technically only being extended by three days.

Sharon Osbourne and ‘The Talk’ came under scrutiny after a series of contentious statements and conversations around racism

Sharon Osbourne The Talk
Sharon Osbourne broke down in tears on ‘The Talk.’ CBS/ET Canada YouTube

According to Page Six, CBS’s internal investigation was initiated when Elaine Welteroth (another co-host on “The Talk”) and her hairstylist filed complaints about the alleged “racially insensitive and hostile environment” of the show’s set. This came right after Osbourne and fellow host Sheryl Underwood had a heated exchange about racism and the way TV personality Piers Morgan had been disparaging Meghan Markle.

Osbourne shared a statement on Twitter, in which she said she “panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive, and allowed [her] fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over” during the exchange with Underwood.

Then Holly Robinson Peete, yet another former co-host of “The Talk,” tweeted and said Osbourne complained she “was too ‘ghetto'” for the CBS show.

Leah Remini has previously spoken about Osbourne using the word “ghetto” in reference to both her and Peete. Insider reached out to Remini’s representatives but did not immediately hear back.

On Wednesday, the day after Ali’s newsletter was published, Remini thanked him for reporting the story.

“I appreciate you reporting on this story when many didn’t for fear of being retaliated against,” Remini wrote on Twitter. “To those who spoke up, thank you. I hope more will get the courage to do so.”

You can read Ali’s full report on Osbourne’s alleged behavior here.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 17 to include Remini’s new statements on Twitter.