The Osbourne Family: Making It Through the Madness

You either love them, or you hate them, but the Osbourne family is here to stay. Their crazy antics and love for profanity have captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world. They have stuck together, even though it proved to be a struggle throughout the years. But what exactly makes this dysfunctional family tick?

Ozzy, Kelly, Aimee, Sharon, and Jack Osbourne posing together outside of a trailer / Kelly Osbourne on the red carpet / Jack Osbourne on the red carpet
Photo by Mtv, Kobal, Shutterstock / Lionel Hahn, Epic Records, PictureGroup, Shutterstock / Rob Latour, Shutterstock

How did the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, win over the love of his life? And what about Sharon and Ozzy’s third daughter Aimee? And no one can forget the 2016 incident involving Ozzy and a hairdresser. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest scandals that have rocked the Osbourne family. You better get comfortable. We have a lot of drama to cover here!

A Giant Mirage

Although Ozzy and Sharon’s marriage made the front page of almost every tabloid in the world, many are still surprised to learn that it was not the singer’s first marriage. In 1971, shortly after Ozzy hit it big with Black Sabbath, he met his first wife, Thelma Riley, at a nightclub. The couple got married quickly, bought a house, and had two kids named Jessica and Louis.

Thelma Riley and Ozzy Osbourne holding hands / Thelma Riley and Ozzy Osbourne with their kids
Thelma Riley and Ozzy Osbourne with their family. Source: Reddit / Pinterest

The Prince of Darkness also adopted Thelma’s son Elliott from a previous relationship. “I thought, ‘I have arrived.’ Not realizing it was a giant mirage,” Ozzy told A&E. The singer’s substance abuse combined with Black Sabbath’s touring schedule took a toll on his personal life.

Mo Money, Mo Problems

At the time, Ozzy was living in Los Angeles for part of the year to work on new music. With his newfound fame came money and a whole new set of problems. “I thought money would buy everything, would fix everything, but money would buy the alcohol and the drugs, and I behaved f***ing badly,” he told interviewers at A&E.

Ozzy Osbourne photographed sitting on a couch 1975
Photo by Ian Dickson / Shutterstock

Ozzy’s former bandmates said that Ozzy was using every day. It got so bad that the singer even admitted that he couldn’t remember when Louis or Jessica was born. This caused problems between the couple, especially since Ozzy had a hard time staying faithful. He cheated on Thelma with several women, including groupies and his current wife, Sharon.

An Instant Attraction

After the unexpected success of the band’s self-titled first album, Black Sabbath began looking for a new manager. They finally settled on Don Arden, whose daughter Sharon was working as his receptionist. Ozzy says that he was attracted to Sharon from the first time he laid eyes on her, despite the fact that he was still married to Thelma at the time.

Don Arden and Sharon Osbourne posing together at the breakfast table
Don Arden and Sharon Osbourne. Source: Shutterstock

However, Ozzy didn’t act on his attraction, assuming that “she probably thought I was a lunatic.” Well, she sort of did. “Ozzy walked into my father’s office without shoes, with a water faucet dangling from his neck and sat on the floor,” she told People magazine of the first time they met. “I was terrified.”

Dysfunctional Households

One of the reasons why the two hit it off was because of their dysfunctional upbringings. While Don may have taught Sharon the ins and outs of the rock world, he also had a very harsh side to him. Nicknamed the “Al Capone of Pop,” Don once dangled one of his competitors from a balcony by his feet. Another time, he allegedly hit a stage manager for messing up the lighting during one of Black Sabbath’s performances.

Don Arden with an umbrella in the streets circa 1968
Don Arden. Photo by Evening News / Shutterstock

Sharon grew up seeing her dad threatening people and even showing off a handgun to get what he wanted. Sharon’s relationship with her mother Hope wasn’t much better. The two never got along, and things got so bad that she refused to attend her mother’s funeral in 1998.

Deep, Dark Secrets

Ozzy’s childhood wasn’t much better. He grew up with five siblings in an impoverished household. “If you build a wall with rocky foundations, you are going to have a pretty unstable wall when it’s finished,” Ozzy told the Daily Mirror in 2003. Besides dealing with his parents’ bickering at home and his problems with dyslexia at school, Ozzy was constantly bullied on his way home from school.

A young Ozzy Osbourne in middle school
Ozzy Osbourne. Source: Pinterest

The bullying turned into sexual abuse, and Ozzy felt that he had nowhere to turn. He was afraid to tell his parents about the abuse, especially since it wasn’t something that was openly discussed in those days. The singer says that this dirty secret festered and affected him later on in life, even after the abuse stopped. The only person he could be himself with was Sharon.

A Life-Changing Year

Years later, Ozzy said that the best thing about having Don as a manager was that he got to see Sharon on an almost daily basis, even though their relationship was strictly professional at first. By 1979, things weren’t going so well for Ozzy’s career with Black Sabbath. The rest of the band thought that Ozzy’s addictions were way out of control and he was unreliable.

Tony Lommi and Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath performing in 1973
Tony Lommi and Ozzy Osbourne. Photo by Ian Dickson / Shutterstock

However, Ozzy says that his alcohol consumption and drug use was neither better nor worse than his band members’. Regardless, Don fired Ozzy from the band. That’s when Sharon decided to take over his management as a solo artist. That’s when they began to fall in love, despite the fact that Ozzy had a wife and kids back home.

A Broken Family

While Ozzy was happy with the change in management, Sharon’s new job severely affected her relationship with her father. In her memoir, Sharon says that her father went to great lengths to get back at his daughter for managing Ozzy. She soon lost contact with Don and refused to speak to him for nearly 20 years.

Don Arden, Sharon Osbourne, and David Osbourne posing at a party
Don Arden, Sharon Osbourne, and her brother David Osbourne reunited. Source: Shutterstock

In 2001, she told the press that her father had never met her three children and that “he never will.” At one point, she even told her kids that their grandfather had passed away. But the pair were reunited in 2001, and Don has even made a few appearances on their MTV reality show. In August 2004, Don was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and passed away in 2007.

Finding the Light

By the time Sharon took over Ozzy’s management, Ozzy had been put through the wringer. He had just been kicked out of Black Sabbath and was dealing with the loss of his father, but Sharon brought light into his life. “We were just having the time of our lives. Meanwhile, Ozzy had a wife and kids back home, so it was a lot.”

Ozzy Osbourne placing a ring on Sharon's finger at their wedding / Sharon and Ozzy posing on their wedding day
Source: Instagram / Pinterest

The two began to date and eventually married in 1982, just one month after his divorce from Thelma was finalized. Not long after their Maui wedding, the couple welcomed their first daughter Aimee in 1983, then Kelly in 1984, and finally Jack in 1985. Although the couple seemed to have everything they had ever wanted, the ‘80s were an especially low time for Sharon and Ozzy.

Hitting Rock Bottom

Sharon told The Guardian that the couple would often engage in physical fights, which were fueled by alcohol and drugs. But, in 1989, the couple had their worst fight yet. One night, Ozzy came home after a five-day bender and tried to strangle Sharon. The mother of three managed to release his grasp and press a panic button in the room.

Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne sitting across the table from each other with their daughter Aimee sitting on the table like a baby
Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne with Aimee Mether. Photo by David Crump / Associated Newspapers / Shutterstock

Before they knew it, police officers had arrived at her house. Today, Sharon says that she doesn’t know what triggered Ozzy to come after her that night, but she does know that he blacked out. “You’ve never probably lived with an alcoholic addict,” Sharon told Dr. Oz. “They blank out, they have blackout times, and it’s like literally being asleep, but you’re awake.”

Dealing with His Demons

Sharon also says that she understands that it was a big deal, and she isn’t trying to make excuses for Ozzy. “These are facts. This is what happens to people who are so deep into their addiction,” she shared. “I’d seen him like sleepwalking before, but never as for this amount of time.”

Ozzy Osbourne’s mugshots from 1984
Ozzy Osbourne’s mugshots from 1984, his previous arrest. Source: Shutterstock

Ozzy was arrested and spent the night in jail. When he woke up, Ozzy said that he couldn’t remember what had happened. After a court-mandated separation, Ozzy decided to return to rehab to take control over his addictions. Sharon decided not to press charges against the singer, trusting that he would stay sober and not try something like that again.

Taking a Toll

Her relationship with Ozzy began to take a physical toll. The manager began to lose control of her weight, and after years of debating, she finally decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery in 1999. While she initially lost 125 pounds, Sharon says that it wasn’t in a healthy way.

Sharon Osbourne after the surgery in 2003
Photo by Stewart Cook / Shutterstock

She had a hard time keeping down her food and was throwing up all the time. The mother of three began to feel like a “cheat” for having the surgery and has said numerous times that she regretted ever having it done. In 2006, Sharon had the band removed and decided to focus on her health and keep her weight down the good old-fashioned way.

Meet the Osbournes

In 2002, Ozzy gained a whole new generation of fans when MTV greenlit a reality show featuring him and his family. Apart from the immediate family, The Osbournes also featured Robert Marcato, who was taken in by the couple after his mother passed away from cancer, Sharon’s assistant, and the kid’s Australian nanny, Melinda.

Sharon, Ozzy, Jack, Kelly Osbourne, and Rob, their adopted family member
Sharon, Ozzy, Jack, Kelly Osbourne, and Robert Marcato. Photo by Mtv / Kobal / Shutterstock

The show ran for four seasons, and, during its first season, the show was cited as the most-watched TV series ever on MTV. However, not everyone wanted to be a part of the series. The couple’s eldest daughter, Aimee, refused to film with the rest of the family. She moved out of the house, and her face was blurred out in family portraits that were shown on the series.

Family of Five?

While most of the world thought the Osbournes were a family of four, Aimee says that she had her reasons for not appearing on the show. “I’m not some weirdo depressed daughter that’s afraid of the world that locks herself in her room all day,” she told Barbara Walters in 2007.

Aimee Osbourne at an event in 2003
Aimee Osbourne. Photo by Bei / Shutterstock

She went on to explain that “I want to be a singer, and I felt if I were to stay with the Osbournes and do the whole [show] thing, I felt as though maybe I would have been typecasted right away.” Aimee also added that she dearly loves her family and that it was not out of spite as some fans believe.

Reality Rudeness

The reality show became known for his profanity and outrageous behavior from the Osbournes almost daily. In the US, the swear words were censored, while in the UK and Canada, they were not, leaving audiences fully aware of what the clan was saying. Ozzy later commented on the censorship, stating that while he appreciated the uncensored version, he actually preferred the US censored version.

Ozzy, Kelly, Jack, and Sharon Osbourne posing next to statues
Photo by Mtv / Kobal / Shutterstock

Why? Because the swearing was more noticeable with the “bleeps” that were recorded over the profanity. Ozzy also said that he was stoned during the entire series and will not re-watch the episodes for that reason. But there was another reason why Ozzy didn’t care for the reality series.

Stars, They’re Just Like Us!

There was a time when Ozzy was known as one of the worst, most extreme rockers out there. But now, with a new reality show, the air of mystery that had surrounded him was transformed into a more public and calculated persona. “I think he was like, ‘Whoa, the rock star thing. We’ve gotta hold that up. Like, I’m just, kind of, dad now.’ And I think he struggled with that,” Jack told Yahoo News in 2019.

Ozzy Osbourne performing with heavy black eyeliner and a black leather jacket with white fringe
Photo by Globe Photos / mediapunch / Shutterstock

At home, the Prince of Darkness was like any other dad. He took the family dog on walks and got frustrated when he couldn’t figure out how to work the remote control. He gave fans a new look into his life, and they loved him for it.

A Troubling Diagnosis

Shortly after the show began filming, Sharon received some devastating news. The then-49-year-old was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her family rallied around her, and The Osbournes filming went on as scheduled, with the second season following Sharon’s cancer treatment. One of her lymph nodes tested positive for cancer, meaning that the disease had traveled beyond her colon.

Ozzy with his arm around Sharon at a Colon Cancer benefit
Photo by Greg Allen / Shutterstock

The mother of three underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and a year later, she was officially declared cancer-free. Ozzy took the news hard and eventually relapsed. According to Ozzy, Sharon gave the Prince of Darkness an ultimatum: quit drinking, or she’d leave him. Ozzy says that he quit drinking, but Sharon soon learned that he just got better at hiding his addictions.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Sharon always believed that her kids would never touch drugs after seeing how their dad had struggled with his addictions. When they did, it broke Sharon’s heart. Kelly’s addiction to painkillers first began when she was 16 years old, and it quickly got out of hand. “I never thought I’d be alive at 35 years old,” Kelly told The Mirror in 2020.

Kelly Osbourne posing on a couch with short pink hair
Photo by Page / Shutterstock

“A lot of my friends didn’t make it, and burying them was hard. I had survivor’s guilt for a long time.” Kelly, who is three years sober, was a close friend of Amy Winehouse’s, who died at the age of 27 in 2011, following years about drug and alcohol issues. Kelly hit rock bottom in 2017 and decided to make some serious life changes.

Road to Sobriety

Kelly says that she called her brother Jack after a night of drinking and just started crying on the phone. “I remember saying to him, crying, ‘I don’t want to be a fat, drunk loser anymore. I want to be a skinny winner,” Kelly told reporters.

Kelly Osbourne smiling in a fun outfit
Photo by E! Tv / New Harbor / Rugby Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

Right then and there, Ozzy’s daughter decided to turn her life around. She enrolled in a six-month therapy program, which helped her get a hold of her dependencies and get back on her feet. Kelly has been very open about her journey to sobriety. The star has often said that if her story helps just one person, she’ll be happy. However, Kelly isn’t the only Osbourne sibling to have had a rocky road to success.

Finding His Way

Given the bumpy and somewhat tumultuous life back at home, Jack also had problems. He began drinking when he was only 13 years old and soon developed an addiction to painkillers. Jack’s dependencies continued until one day, he decided that he “never wants to feel this way ever again” and checked himself into an adolescent rehab facility.

Jack Osbourne and Lisa Stelly posing on the red carpet in 2012
Photo by Broadimage / Shutterstock

In 2012, Jack and his longtime girlfriend, Lisa Stelly, had their first child, Pearl Clementine, and officially tied the knot later that year. After miscarrying in 2013, Lisa gave birth to two more daughters, Andy Rose and Minnie Theodora. Unfortunately, Lisa filed for divorce in 2018, only three months after giving birth to Minnie.

Jack’s Troubling Diagnosis

In 2012, Jack revealed that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which he says was the scariest moment of his life. Right before the diagnosis, Jack went blind in one eye, felt numbness in both of his legs, and had problems with his bladder and stomach. But with the love and support from his famous family, Jack was back on track in no time.

Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke leaving the studio after rehearsals
Photo by Picture Perfect / Shutterstock

“My family was an incredible support system for me, helping me understand and wrap my head around the disease, and to them, I am forever grateful,” he said. The youngest Osbourne sibling began an exercise routine and altered his diet, on top of taking his vitamin supplements, hormone replacement therapy, and daily dosages of Copaxone. He even followed in his sister’s footsteps and signed up for Dancing With the Stars!

He Did What?!

Whether it was Jack going to rehab or Kelly accidentally saying something she shouldn’t have, the Osbournes have mastered the art of staying in the tabloids. The most recent, and probably the most explosive drama they had was in 2016 when Sharon left Ozzy for cheating on her. Their split shocked the world, given the fact that they had been through so much as a couple.

Michelle Pugh walking around the side of her car
Michelle Pugh. Photo by Broadimage / Shutterstock

Ozzy first met Michelle Pugh when he made an appointment to get his hair colored. One thing led to another, and their professional relationship turned physical. The affair went on for nearly four years and only ended after Sharon found emails on his computer.

There Were How Many?

According to Sharon, there were actually six mistresses in total. “He had women in different countries,” Sharon told The Telegraph after the news broke. “Basically, if you’re a woman giving Ozzy either a back rub or a trolley of food, God help you.” But when Sharon found out about the hairdresser, she says that she completely lost it.

Ozzy and Sharon on the red carpet with Sharon turning her head away from Ozzy
Photo by Broadimage / Shutterstock

She shared that this incident had come right after Ozzy had accidentally sent her an email meant for “one of his bloody women.” The talk show host said that one night she and Ozzy were sitting on the couch watching TV when she received an email from her husband. “‘Why did you send me this stupid email?” I asked, and when Ozzy told me that he hadn’t sent me anything, I grabbed his phone and said ‘look!'”

The Drama Continues

While this was not the first time Ozzy had cheated on Sharon, she said that this time it was much harder to forgive him. After finding the emails between Ozzy and Michelle, Sharon kicked Ozzy out of their Beverly Hills mansion and moved out of the home before he returned. Kelly took matters into her own hands and famously tweeted Michelle’s number, along with an angry message about the affair with her father.

Kelly Osbourne with her finger on her lips while posing on the red carpet / The tweet that Kelly sent out
Photo by Broadimage, Shutterstock / Source: Twitter

Sharon and Ozzy broke up, leaving Sharon wondering if she could ever trust him again. The two began therapy, and Ozzy got additional treatment for his sex addiction. The singer told Piers Morgan, “If you’re a junkie like I was, anything that alters your mind, you go for.” He also says that the extramarital affairs were purely physical.

The Love of My Life

Michelle, on the other hand, says that the affair was much more than a symptom of sex addiction. A few months after the affair was leaked, Michelle spoke with People magazine about her four-year relationship with the former Black Sabbath frontman. “When I say he gave me the greatest love of my life, I mean it,” she said.

Ozzy Osbourne performing in 2018
Source: Shutterstock

Michelle is adamant that their time together meant something and that the pair connected on an emotional level, as well as on a physical one. The hairdresser also shared that Ozzy was her best friend over the years, and she doesn’t know how to fill the gaping hole in her heart now that he’s gone. Following Michelle’s interview, Ozzy issued a statement apologizing if she took their relationship out of context.

Second Time’s the Charm

After nearly a year of separation, Sharon revealed that she and Ozzy were back together. “I forgive. It’s going take a long time to trust, but we’ve been together 36 years, 34 of marriage,” Sharon told her viewers. “I just can’t think of my life without him.”

Sharon and Ozzy posing together at their vow renewal
Source: Hello Magazine

Sharon also shared that Ozzy is desperately trying to be a better person and is working tirelessly to do so. On Mother’s Day 2017, Ozzy and Sharon decided to renew their vows in an intimate ceremony in Las Vegas. According to Sharon, she considers this day her real wedding day. The talk show host also says that she and her Prince of Darkness fell back in love all over again.

Back to Her Roots

The couple seems to have put Ozzy’s affairs behind them and are on the right track. Today, Sharon is currently working on The Talk, where she’s been a co-host since 2010. Most recently, she made headlines when she changed her hair back to her original dark red pixie cut after going all-natural with her grey hair.

Sharon Osbourne with white hair / Sharon Osbourne on the red carpet with red hair
Source: Instagram, @JackMartinColorist / Photo by imageSPACE, Shutterstock

She has followed the footsteps of other celebrities, such as Jane Fonda, who have recently been spotted rocking silver hair. But as her 68th birthday approached, Sharon says that she began to resemble Grandma Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies and decided to dye her hair back. Over the years, Sharon has also been a judge on X-Factor and a guest panelist on Loose Women.

The Forgotten Osbourne

As for Aimee, she has managed to stay out of the tabloids over the years. But now that she has her own band, ARO, the eldest Osbourne sibling says that she feels more comfortable letting the press into her private life. Aimee has plans to take her band’s success to the next level.

Aimee Osbourne posing with her head resting on her hand
Aimee Osbourne. Source: Tumblr

Aimee appeared in the music video for her band’s debut single, Raining Gold, which received two million hits in just two months! Aimee picks and chooses what she wants to share with the public, but one thing is clear: She loves her father. “I think that he is incredibly unique, I think he’s talented, I think he’s misunderstood,” Aimee told Barbara Walters.

The Dynamic Duo

As for Jack and Kelly, things are on track. Jack celebrated his 17th year of sobriety in April 2020 and has continued to be very open about his struggles. Like his sister, he hopes that his story can not only inspire others to get help but educate people about the opioid crisis that is taking America by storm.

Kelly, Sharon, and Jack Osbourne posing at the bottom of their stairs
Photo by Dymond / Thames / Syco / Shutterstock

Kelly has also devoted herself to self-care. For most of the past decade, Kelly has been an open book regarding her body image struggles and her journey to healthy, sober living. She has also shared that she underwent a gastric sleeve surgery in 2018, which helped jump-start her current weight loss journey. But Kelly says that her current weight is also the result of hard work, dedication, and sticking to a plant-based diet.

The Prince of Darkness

Ozzy has had some health issues for the past few years. In 2019, he fell while he was at his home in Los Angeles, dislodging multiple metal rods that had been put into his body after a nearly-fatal ATV accident in 2003. His injuries from the fall were so bad that Ozzy was forced to cancel all of his 2019 live concerts.

Ozzy Osbourne posing in front of chess pieces
Photo by Stewart Cook / Shutterstock

To make matters worse, in January 2020, Ozzy revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Sharon says that some days are better than others, but the diagnosis meant that Ozzy would have to postpone his world tour until 2021. “We’ve all learned so much about each other again, and it’s reaffirmed how strong we are,” Kelly told reporters about her father’s condition. With the support of his family, Ozzy Osbourne is on the road to recovery!