IT was 2am when Sharon Osbourne was woken by the sound of a sickening thud.
Returning from the bathroom, her husband Ozzy had tripped over a rug, banged his head on the bedside table and was now “in flight” backwards.
“It was so quick and he was so sleepy that he didn’t instinctively put his hands out to break the fall,” says Sharon, frowning at the memory.
“So he then hit his head again, on the corner of our bed, which has a metal frame.
“I saw it happen but I couldn’t get to him in time.”
She knew straight away that it was serious but her worst fears were confirmed when rocker Ozzy mumbled: “Call an ambulance. I can’t move.”
His fall, in February this year, was just the start of an extremely tough time which has left the whole Osbourne family feeling “completely overwhelmed and devastated”.
Sharon says: “The first hospital we went to said he was just ‘badly bruised’ and they sent us home. I was thinking, ‘This is f***ing insane’. He couldn’t move his arms and he was in agony.
“By that time it was 3am and they’ve got all the usual drunks in there, the car accidents, people everywhere. It was dreadful and they couldn’t give a damn.”
In a state of shock, Sharon and Ozzy did as they were told and returned to their home in Beverly Hills, LA. But 70-year-old Ozzy’s condition worsened and soon he could not move the right side of his body.
So Sharon took him to a different hospital, where an MRI scan showed metal bolts, used to reconstruct his collarbone after a serious quad-bike accident in 2003, had dislodged. In addition, his spinal cord was compressed.
Sharon, 67, says: “They fixed the collarbone straight away but his spinal cord was so inflamed they had to wait a week to do an operation.
“He was in surgery for five hours and afterwards they told us it would take him a year to recover.
“It’s terrifying when you see somebody you love so incapacitated. They can’t do a thing, and you’re so engulfed with fear that you can’t think clearly. So we didn’t do any research or ask the right questions.
“Now, certain doctors say, ‘Well, maybe he shouldn’t have had this operation and . . . ’ Oh, it’s a nightmare. Every doctor seems to have a different opinion.”
The strain of Ozzy’s accident is clear as she stops talking for a few seconds to compose herself. “Sometimes, when I look at him, that night plays frame by frame in my head like a movie,” she says quietly. “I close my eyes and I see him falling again and again.”
Ozzy was in intensive care for six weeks, then spent a further two months in hospital doing daily physio to get him walking again.
He is now back home but the accident meant his world tour — already interrupted after he had pneumonia over last Christmas and into the New Year — had to be postponed even longer.
“We are hoping to pick it up in May and finish off all the dates,” says Sharon who, as well as having her own TV career, is Ozzy’s manager. “The fans all held on to their tickets. They’ve been so loyal and under- standing.”
In the days immediately after the operation, Ozzy had intravenous pain-killers, but because of his past struggle with addictions he wanted to get off traditional medication as soon as he feasibly could.
He is now using the cannabis-based CBD oil as a natural alternative. Sharon says: “He’s doing well because he’s moaning. I know he’s good when he’s moaning.
“He’s just frustrated because he wants to be doing the tour. If he just has to stand there and sing, that’s what he’s going to do.
“He’s doing Pilates three times a week and lots of strengthening exercises — he has to because when you’re in hospital for that long your body just shrinks and rots.”
We are sitting in Sharon’s luxurious suite at Claridge’s hotel, where she is based for a quick work trip to London before rushing back to Ozzy’s side.
She is here for costume fittings and a photoshoot to promote her forthcoming role in the London run of uplifting theatre show Nativity! The Musical, alongside EastEnders star Danny Dyer and former X Factor contestant Rylan Clark-Neal.
Her face lights up at the thought. She says: “I’m really looking forward to it. They have asked for the past three years, but this time it felt right to say yes. I play Crystal Collins, the president of Parker Pictures.
“I used to do a lot of stage work when I was a kid and I did a couple of pantomimes, so I love it. There’s 20 children in the show, it’s just a really feelgood production. I’m excited.”
‘Nobody takes care of him the way I do’
The busy schedule of two shows a day means she will be spending Christmas at their house in the Buckinghamshire countryside and, “fingers crossed”, she says, the plan is for Ozzy to join her along with their two daughters, Aimee, 36, and Kelly, 35.
Their son, Jack, 34, will stay home in LA to be with his three young children. “I hate being away from Ozzy, not least because I’m such a control freak,” Sharon says with a laugh. “I think nobody takes care of him the way I do.”
And who has been taking care of her through what has clearly been a traumatising time? “The kids have been amazing,” she says, “but to be honest, I don’t know what I would have done without work.”
She is referring to The Talk, the hugely successful US panel show she does weekdays alongside comedian and actress Sheryl Underwood, music legend Marie Osmond, hip-hop artist and actress Eve, and Dancing With The Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
“All the women have been so supportive, and so have the team behind the scenes,” Sharon says. “To have those friendships every day is like therapy.”
But her role in Nativity hopefully marks the start of a more positive chapter in the Osbournes’ lives — and there is other good news too.
“In the middle of all the angst, Ozzy made an album and I honestly think it’s one of his best,” says Sharon, proudly. “It saved him from depression because he was down in the dumps.
He couldn’t watch anything with music on TV. He would say, ‘I can’t do this’, because he was so devastated. Then he started writing.”
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The album, Ordinary Man, is out early next year and the first single from it, Under The Graveyard, is out now.
One reviewer wrote that Ozzy, “has survived the kind of debauchery that would’ve killed most of us 15 times over” and added, “for him to be making music at all is pretty amazing. For him to be sounding good is even crazier”.
Crazy survivors — that’s Sharon and Ozzy to a tee.
- Nativity! The Musical is showing at the Eventim Apollo, London, from December 11 to 29. See nativitythemusical.com
Surgery no.4 left me feeling like 'frigging Elvis'
SHARON looks incredible after having her fourth facelift.
She had it in August once Ozzy was back home and recovering well from his fall, and her US panel show The Talk gave her time off.
She says: “Thirties, forties, fifties and now sixties . . . I’ve had one every decade. But every time it takes longer for my face to recover. My neck felt like I’d been hung and one side of my lip stayed numb and was curled up in a snarl.
“I would go into the doctor every day and go, ‘it still hurts, it’s not going down. I look like friggin’ Elvis Presley’. And then I thought, ‘This is punishment for being so horribly vain’.
“I thought maybe it was going to stay that way, but thankfully it didn’t.”
Sharon has always felt it important to be honest about having cosmetic procedures and the pain of recovery.
She says: “I know they say no pain, no gain, but it really hurts. All of it.
“But I can’t moan because I wanted to do it. It’s elective surgery so people aren’t going to send you flowers and say ‘Get better soon’, are they?”
In the context of what Ozzy has been through, she has a point
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