JEWISH TV star Sharon Osbourne is never one to hold back – and she really lets rip when discussing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
In a searingly honest interview about her appearance on BBC family tree documentary Who Do You Think You Are?, the former X Factor judge also opens up about anti-Semitism, her family’s difficult past and the shocking discovery her mum spent time in jail — aged just 12.
Speaking from her Los Angeles mansion, Sharon, 66, is furious when our chat turns to Corbyn.
She says: “Oh my God, I hate him so much. I want to hurt him. I want to physically hurt this man. He is the most arrogant, ugly f**k. I want to hurt him. Oh my God, he is revolting, so ugly, inside and out. This ugliness oozes from him, he’s repulsive.”
Sharon’s rant at Corbyn, who has been accused of allowing the rise of anti-Semitism in the Labour party, comes immediately after her retelling of dad Don’s experience as a Jewish soldier for the British Army during World War Two.
She says: “His name was Levy so of course they knew he was a Jew. There he was fighting for his country and everybody was torturing him. People from his own country were torturing him.
“They’d wake him up at two or three in the morning and it’s p***ing down with rain and they’re getting him to dig a hole outside. He’s like, ‘Why am I doing this?’. And they’re going, ‘Because you’re a f*****g Jew and this war is over you and this is why we have to fight and you’re going to dig a f*****g hole’. And he just went, ‘They’re going to kill me’.”
Sharon’s father, who later went on to manage acts including Jerry Lee Lewis and Black Sabbath — whose singer is Sharon’s husband Ozzy — was dishonourably discharged after claiming “insanity”, but his time in the Army wouldn’t be her family’s final brush with anti-Semitism.
Sharon recalls stopping over in Germany while managing singer Lynsey de Paul in 1976. She says: “The record company took us to a restaurant. The guy from the record company said, ‘Oh my God, we’ve brought you here’.
“And we’re like, ‘Why?’. And he goes, ‘It’s full of Jews’. And we looked at each other and we went, ‘Don’t say a word and just get the f*** away from here’.”
The rise of anti-Semitism in the Labour party under Corbyn’s leadership is a worry for Sharon.
Sharon Osbourne has made her feelings about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn very clear[/caption]
She says: “It’s always been around and it will always be around and that’s what terrifies me because of all the ugly groups that are coming up all over the world. It’s always the Jews or the blacks or the Muslims — everybody hates somebody.”
Sharon, who describes herself as “49 per cent Irish and the rest is Ashkenazi Jewish”, wishes she could have explored her father’s bloodline further during the hour-long documentary, which airs tomorrow.
But producers were met with a sad reality when trying to trace his eastern European Jewish heritage.
Sharon says: “There was nothing for them to go back to find, everything was destroyed.”
Instead, she explores her mother Hope’s Irish Catholic roots and her time as a music hall dancer in London. And that is dark enough.
When Sharon is handed a newspaper article by a historian, she reads the headline: “A Brixton Incident. Mother and daughter charged. Child takes the blame.”
She finds out that 12-year-old Hope and her mum Dolly were flung into a South London jail after Dolly was caught stealing stockings. With a shaky voice, Sharon says: “It broke my heart when I read that. My mum must have been terrified, just terrified. Can you imagine? I never knew any of this.”
Sharon also travels to Newport, New England, in the States, where she learns that her ancestors were forced to work in the cotton mills and treated as “slaves” after emigrating from Europe during the mid-19th century.
She discovers that her great-great-grandmother Catherine lost five of her six children due to the horrific conditions.
Sharon says: “Here in America they stopped with slavery, people thought, but then they went on to bring white people from Europe over. I never knew this part of American history. It was just heartbreaking to read this.”
There are cracks in her voice as she tells me her family’s tragic stories. It is a side of Sharon we rarely see. And she admits the show has made her think differently of mum Hope. She says: “I used to think, ‘F***, she’s miserable’.
“She was depressed but in those days we didn’t know about depression, you’d just go, ‘Oh God, they’re miserable again’. My mother had a hell of a life. My opinion of her have totally changed.”
Sharon and husband Ozzy Osbourne got married in the 1980s[/caption]
Husband Ozzy tried to convince her not to do the show, knowing how painful she could find it. She says: “I was recording and I was saying, ‘It was so sad’. And he was going, ‘I told you, I told you not to do it’. But I’m glad I did it.”
So having heard how pleased Sharon was, might we see Ozzy trace his bloodline, too? Sharon replies: “No, because Ozzy’s story is heartbreaking.
“His sister, for one of Ozzy’s birthdays, went back and traced the family and it’s just one after the other, workhouse, workhouse, workhouse.”
Before we wrap up, our chat moves back to Sharon’s mum Hope, who died in 1999. Her voice goes quiet when I ask if there is anything she would have liked to say to her.
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With regret, she replies: “Now I understand why she was the way she was. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, what a bitch I was for never asking her’.
“I’d just like to say that I am so sorry about the time that was wasted between us. The years that we could have had an amazing relationship and I judged her so harshly.”
- Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC1, 9pm, tomorrow.
He's all white, Cowell
FORMER X Factor judge Sharon also took a pop at ex-boss Simon Cowell and his recent makeover.
Sharon, who first appeared on the reality show from 2004 until 2007, then returned briefly in 2013 and again in 2016, said: “The teeth are too white again.
“He always gets these teeth that are too white and it takes a year or so for the colour to calm down.
“Otherwise I think he looks great. He’s dropped weight and it’s great for him. Much healthier for him. Not that he was big. But he just got rid of that tummy and chest.”
She also claimed that show bosses asked her back this year – but she turned them down.
She says she was approached by producers while Simon, 59, was choosing the panel for the celebrity version, which airs in October.
Sharon told The Sun: “One of the producers asked me in May of this year, I was over in London and they asked me. I said, ‘no. I just can’t’.
“I was there when the show was amazing. It was just fantastic and I would like to leave it like that.”
Pal Louis Walsh, 67, and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, 41, will appear on panel judging the celebrities alongside Simon.
But Sharon is surprised Louis said yes. She said: “Can you believe he’s gone back?”
Celebrities signed up to perform include football hard man-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, 54, and rugby player Ben Foden, 34.
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