Sheryl Underwood spoke for the first time after a hot air exchange last month with her partner Sharon Osbourne, who left CBS’s afternoon talk show “The Talk” after a network review of the incident.
In a three-part podcast series, “Sharon Walks Away,” Underwood said she and Osbourne did not speak. “The Talk” has been suspended since Osbourne yelled at Underwood while defending his friend and British TV actor Piers Morgan, who was criticized for Meghan’s attack, the Duchess of Sussex.
“Have you talked to Sharon Osbourne since she last met?” Podcast participant James Kelley asked Underwood.
“No, OK, I’ve been checking on my phone,” he said. “No. I can go back to where I can go. No.”
Osbourne spokesman Howard Bragman shared a screenshot of a text Osbourne appeared to send to Underwood on March 12 apologizing for his behavior in the match. NBC News could not independently verify the authenticity of the documents.
When the radio station aired on March 10, Osbourne said he should not be criticized for standing with Morgan, a long-time critic of Meghan and her husband Prince Harry. Underwood, a black man, stepped back and asked if his defense was “guaranteed or safe” in his “racist” statements, whether he agreed or not.
Osbourne told Underwood to “teach him” about when to say “racist things.” Osbourne later wrote a comment on Twitter and apologized to the public for his statements on the program.
“To everyone who has wronged me and / or to anyone who feels confused or offended by what I have said, I am very sorry,” Osbourne said. “I’m not perfect, I’m still learning like the rest of us and will continue to learn, listen and do better.”
Underwood said the apology left him feeling “strange”.
“My problem is about trust,” he said. “I do not want to add to the discussion in a negative way that we do not come up with good solutions and trust and growth and evolution.”
Underwood also said he apologized to Osbourne on air and after the game for the role he played in his exit, “intentionally or unintentionally,” and regrets how the incident happened.
“I could not have had ‘just be there’ – this would have happened, without my strength,” he said.
Going forward, Underwood said he had no ill intentions against Osbourne and his family.
“Remember when I said, ‘I don’t know if you’re racist. I know you’re doing this job and you’re on the move,” Underwood said, referring to his remarks at the end of an exchange of air with Osbourne. “I still love the Osbournes, from what I know about them.”
However, he added that he was “disappointed” by the way Osbourne treated him.
“I’m trying to vent my feelings about that because it was traumatic. Remember, I said I was PTSD, in shock, in a slow walk,” Underwood said.
He said he appreciated CBS’s handling of the incident. Network officials previously said they were “identifying programs to improve productive staff and production processes to better help our managers, producers, and finally, our viewers.”
“It’s really amazing to see the bottom line, so we can fix things,” Underwood said.