Sharon Osbourne issues apology for supporting Piers Morgan, he claims she was 'bullied' into it

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Sharon Osbourne is apologizing after defending Piers Morgan — but he thinks she's been "bullied" into it.

This week on The Talk, Osbourne got into a heated debate with her co-hosts, including Sheryl Underwood, while defending Morgan amid his criticism of Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey in which the duchess claimed she experienced racism by the royals leading to suicidal thoughts. Now, Osbourne is clarifying her position.

"After some reflection, after sitting with your comments & sitting with my heart I would like to address the discussion on The Talk this past Wednesday," she wrote on social media. "I have always been embraced with so much love & support from the Black community & I have deep respect & love for the Black community. To anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry."

Osbourne said she "panicked, felt blindsided [and] got defensive" during the discussion and it "allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over. There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast!"

She wrote, "I am not perfect. I am still learning like the rest of us & will continue to learn, listen and do better."

Referring to her tweet a day earlier offering blanket support to Morgan, she wrote, "Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny or bullying. I should have been more specific about that in my tweet. I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn't make that clear distinction."

Osbourne concluded by saying, "I hope we can collectively continue to learn from each other & from ourselves so we can all continue to pave the way for much needed growth & change."

Morgan, who appeared on America's Got Talent with Osbourne in the aughts, felt Osbourne was "shamed & bullied" into the apology, however. Morgan, who was criticized for being dismissive of Markle's racism and mental health claims, called for an apology from The Talk "bullies" for their discussion on the show which he said suggested he is racist for his criticism of Markle.

Markle and Prince Harry's tell-all interview with Winfrey aired Sunday — and in it, she claimed that an unidentified senior member of the royal family made comments about Archie's skin tone, due to Markle being of mixed race. Markle also said that the media scrutiny and lack of support by the royals led to her having suicidal thoughts and she received no help from "the firm" when she asked for it.

Morgan, a longtime Markle detractor, said on Good Morning Britain on Monday, "I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle. I wouldn't believe her if she read me a weather report." The following day, he stormed off the set of the show — after a co-host suggested he was just bitter toward Markle because they had been friendly but she stopped talking to him after she started dating Harry —and quit.

Osbourne defended Morgan on Twitter and The Talk, the latter included a heated debate with Underwood.

"Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No," Osbourne said. "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 color or what religion anyone is. Are you a nice person? That's what I judge you on."

Underwood pushed back, asking, "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?"

The back and forth continued with Osbourne saying to Underwood, "Educate me! Tell me when you have heard him say racist things."

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