Sharon Osbourne reflects on exiting 'The Talk': "I felt totally betrayed"

Sharon Osbourne didn't mince words about her controversial exit from the CBS daytime talk show, The Talk.

Speaking with the British publication Daily Mail, Osbourne maintained her claim that she was set up by her co-hosts and show executives.

Osbourne, 68, ignited a controversy in March during an intense debate with fellow host Sheryl Underwood about racism versus freedom of speech when defending embattled broadcaster Piers Morgan, who railed against Meghan Markle's explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.  Osbourne disagreed with Underwood, saying Morgan's criticism wasn't racist.

Osbourne, who starred on The Talk for 11 seasons, exited shortly after.  Now she maintains that the rough exchange was pre-planned by show executives in hopes of boosting The Talk's ratings.

"To leave me for 20 minutes on live TV... unprepared, not produced, not knowing what's going on... They could have cut at any time and gone to a commercial break," she maintained. "They didn't cut because they liked the controversy and they liked that everybody would be talking about this because they needed something for the show that was going into the toilet."

"I felt totally betrayed, not protected... I felt used," said Osbourne, noting that she began receiving death threats following the controversy. "They all knew the question and they all knew what was going down. I felt totally betrayed."

As for her stance on Piers Morgan, Osbourne again insisted that criticizing Markle does not equate to racism.

"It was a freedom of speech matter," she quipped. "A journalist friend of mine... wrote something that people didn't like and then a few crazies out there, some thugs go, 'You must be racist.'"

CBS refuted Osbourne's claims when asked for comment, saying the exchange was not "orchestrated."

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