Sharon Osbourne, wife of mumbling rocker-turned-reality star Ozzy Osbourne, is claiming that NBC discriminated against her son Jack for revealing that he has multiple sclerosis.
Osbourne, who recently announced cryptically over Twitter that she would not be returning to "America's Got Talent," now claims that her departure is due to NBC's firing of her son from its upcoming show "Stars Earn Stripes" after he announced he had been diagnosed with MS.
Osbourne told the New York Post this weekend, "It's time to move on." "I just can't be fake," she said. "It's discrimination, and it was badly handled."
Osbourne's falling out with NBC marks just the latest in a dramatic roller coaster of events for the family. In June, Jack Osbourne announced that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just two weeks after the birth of his daughter Pearl Clementine with fiancée Lisa Stelly, after noticing that he had lost most of the vision in his right eye.
"I'm learning that one minute you can be fine, and the next I went blind in my right eye," he told hosts and audience members on "The Talk." "It's a completely unpredictable disease."
Further escalating the dispute, last month NBC executive producer David Hurwitz disputed Osbourne's claims that Jack Osbourne had been fired, saying that an employment contract had never been officially signed.
On Monday, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt attempted to diffuse the situation by issuing a public statement, and defending NBC's position as primarily motivated by concern for Jack's health and safety.
"First, we have the deepest affection for Sharon Osbourne and consider her to be part of the NBC family," wrote Greenblatt. "And our hearts go out to her, Ozzy, Jack and his family at this time. We hold medical information in strict confidence and therefore cannot comment specifically about Jack, but as a company that cares deeply about the health and safety of everyone on our shows -- especially one like 'Stars Earn Stripes' that requires dangerous water stunts, strenuous physical activity, and uses live ammunition -- we required all potential participants to undergo medical vetting to ensure that they could safely participate. Although we did not ask Jack to participate in the competition, we were able to offer him two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined. This network does not discriminate on any basis."