“The Talk” co-host Sharon Osbourne is fighting back against accusations she has used racist and homophobic language while speaking about her former colleagues on the CBS talk show.
The accusations were made Tuesday in a story written by journalist Yashar Ali, citing former “Talk” co-host Leah Remini, who spoke on the record in the piece, and a number of unnamed sources.
CNN has not independently verified the claims. A spokesperson for Remini confirmed the accuracy of her statements as reported by Ali and declined further comment when contacted by CNN.
“The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host,” Osbourne’s spokesperson Howard Bragman said in a statement to CNN in response to the allegations raised in Ali’s report. “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.”
The allegations come just as the CBS daytime talk show has gone on a brief hiatus following a heated debate last week between co-hosts Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood regarding Osbourne’s support of her longtime friend, Piers Morgan.
In a programming email to CNN, “The Talk” noted that they would be re-airing some old episodes Monday and Tuesday instead of their live shows.
Later, the network said it would be extending its production hiatus until next Tuesday “as we continue to review these issues.”
On Monday, Morgan slammed CBS on Twitter for its decision to temporarily yank the show off air, and Donald Trump Jr. retweeted Morgan, adding “This is getting insane!”
“Now other shows are being pulled off the air because someone who actually knows someone else doesn’t believe they’re racist simply because someone else accused them of it with no basis simply because he didn’t believe someone else,” Trump tweeted. “Got it?!?”
It all started on the show last week after Underwood questioned Osbourne’s support for Morgan, who stormed off the set and left his job on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” in the wake of allegations that comments he made following Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey were rooted in racism.
Osbourne later tweeted an apology saying she “panicked,” “felt blindsided” and then “got defensive” during her exchange with Underwood.
“After some reflection, after sitting with your comments & sitting with my heart I would like to address the discussion on The Talk this past Wednesday. I have always been embraced with so much love & support from the black community & I have deep respect & love for the black community.”
CBS released a statement on Tuesday saying in part, “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.”
In addition to Osbourne and Underwood, the show also features Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth as co-hosts.
CNN’s Zachary Slater contributed to this report