Osbourne Camp Upset With Fox News


Ozzy Osbourne, who made a stir by attending the annual White House Correspondents Dinner in May as a guest of Greta Van Susteren, is now battling the Fox News Channel host over an exclusive videotaped interview he says was obtained under false pretenses.

Van Susteren got the first on-camera talk with the patriarch of MTV’s hit “The Osbournes” since his wife, Sharon, was diagnosed with colon cancer earlier in the summer. In the interview, Osbourne discusses his newfound fame and says he is “falling apart” and “a complete nervous wreck” over his wife’s health.

Portions of the interview were set to air last night (Aug. 22) on “The Pulse,” the summer newsmagazine on Fox Broadcasting, with a more extensive version slated to run tonight on Fox News’ “On the Record With Greta Van Susteren.”

On Wednesday, as Fox News began promoting the interview, a lawyer for Osbourne sent the network a letter claiming that the rocker had agreed to speak only for a Fox News special commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. “This interview was conducted under false pretenses, in violation of our clients’ legal rights and contrary to established journalistic standards and is being falsely advertised,” the letter said, adding that Fox News would risk “substantial liability and damages” by airing the tape.

But in a letter yesterday to Osbourne’s lawyer, Fox News said Osbourne “willingly and voluntarily” sat for a two-hour taped interview with Van Susteren “without restrictions or parameters.” The network also said it neither prepared nor aired a Presley special.

Both the “Pulse” and “On the Record” segments are expected to run in full and will not be affected by the spat, insiders said yesterday.

Osbourne may have another reason for regretting the interview. ABC News’ Barbara Walters is believed to have been angling for an exclusive sit-down with one or more Osbournes to air sometime in the fall, an insider said. An ABC News spokeswoman said the network does not discuss its bookings in advance. Osbourne’s attorney Orin Snyder referred calls to the artist’s publicist, who did not return calls by deadline.

In the Fox News interview, Osbourne predicts the end of his current celebrity. “Eventually this Osbourne reality thing — the bubble’s going to burst, and I’m going to become yesterday’s Roseanne Barr,” he said.

Scott Collins courtesy of Billboard