Sharon Osbourne Attempts To Set Record Straight On 'X Factor' Exit After Pay-Off Claims

She will not be appearing on this year's live shows as planned.

Sharon Osbourne has denied claims she was “paid off” to leave ‘The X Factor’, insisting it was her decision to walk away from the show.

The long-standing judge announced she would not be appearing on this year’s live shows as planned, just weeks after she gave a controversial radio interview in the US, in which she slammed the show’s contestants and Simon Cowell.

Sharon Osbourne
Sharon Osbourne
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Her exit lead to claims from the radio host Howard Stern that producers had offered her money to leave.

However, in an interview with The Sun, Sharon told of how show bosses called her after the interview aired and told her that her planned appearances “were not going to work” - something that she confessed to feeling “relieved” about.

She then went on to explain how Simon had later contacted her to ask her to stay, but she declined the opportunity, claiming it would have been too awkward for her to join him, Robbie Williams, Ayda Field and Louis Tomlinson so far into the series.

Sharon said: “Look, it was getting ridiculous, enough is enough. I’m out and that’s it. I’m not angry with anyone and I don’t regret anything. My life will go on and so will ‘The X Factor’. It’s doing great.

She continued: “I was playing it over and over in my mind, but the gut feeling was still, ‘Sorry, it’s just not for me’.

“As I said, it just felt very, very awkward to be coming in halfway through something.”

Sharon was due to join this year's panel at the live shows
Sharon was due to join this year's panel at the live shows
Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

While Sharon did not receive a pay off to walk away, she did admit she had received her fee due to all the “backwards and forwards” that occurred during the initial negotiations - she had originally been signed to appear as a full-time judge before Simon reduced her role to refresh the panel.

“I’m a businesswoman and they know they have to pay me,” she said. “But I’m going to make a donation to Cancer Research.”

She also claimed Simon had not been annoyed about the controversial interview as he knew it wasn’t to be taken seriously.

She said she was just acting like a “precocious child”, adding: “It wasn’t meant to be vicious, it was just stupid.”

Simon insisted he wasn't offended by Sharon's comments
Simon insisted he wasn't offended by Sharon's comments

This echoed what Simon had previously said, as he told The Sun last month: “You know what… how many times have I heard that? Sometimes people get overexcited and they say things they may regret.

“But how many years have I worked with her? A long time!”

Asked if he would work with her again, he replied: “One hundred per cent. Words don’t hurt me.”

‘The X Factor’ continues on Saturday at 8.35pm on ITV.


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