Sharon Osbourne almost broke down in tears and shouted down her co-host on The Talk as she fiercely defended her friend Piers Morgan.
The TV presenter has been one of Piers’ most outspoken defenders since he quit Good Morning Britain this week after making a series of controversial comments about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
On Wednesday, Sharon got into a heated debate with her co-host on The Talk, Sheryl Underwood, while explaining why she was supporting Piers.
‘Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No,’ Sharon began.
She continued: ‘Because it’s his opinion. It’s not my opinion… I support him for his freedom of speech, and he’s my friend. I’m not racist… I don’t care what colour or what religion anyone is. Are you a nice person? That’s what I judge you on.’
Sheryl, 57, then challenged her colleague: ‘What would you say to people who may feel that while you’re standing by your friend, it appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?’
Sharon, 68, replied: ‘I very much feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend, who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist? What does it gotta do with me?’
The former X Factor judge became increasingly emotional and raised her voice, demanding: ‘I will ask you again Sheryl, I’ve been asking you during the break and I’m asking you again, and don’t try and cry ‘cause if anyone should be crying it should be me.
‘Educate me. Tell me when you have heard him say racist things.’
A calm Sheryl then explained: ‘It is not the exact words of racism, it’s the implication and the reaction to it.
‘To not want to address that because she is a Black woman, and to try to dismiss it or to make it seem less than what it is that’s what makes it racist. But right now, I’m talking to a woman I believe is my friend and I don’t want anybody here to watch this and think we are attacking you for being racist.’
Sharon, 68, had earlier expressed her support for Piers via Twitter and wrote: ‘[Piers] I am with you. I stand by you. ‘People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.’
Piers, 55, acknowledged the support and replied: ‘When stuff like this happens, true friends run towards you, fake friends run away. I love Sharon Osbourne because she always stays true to herself. ‘She knew she would get abused by the woke brigade for tweeting this – but did it anyway because it what she believes.’
Around 41,000 people complained to Ofcom after Piers said he ‘doesn’t believe a word’ of Meghan’s comments in the Oprah interview, which notably included that she considered suicide due to racial abuse and that a senior member of the Royal family expressed ‘concerns’ over ‘how dark’ her son Archie would be once he was born.