Sharon Osbourne hinted about two weeks back that she wasn't returning as a judge for the next season of "America's Got Talent," but at the time played it fairly coy.
On Monday, however, Osbourne was reportedly much more forthright, telling the New York Post that her decision to move on was prompted by the way "AGT's" network, NBC, handled a potential casting for her son Jack on the network's new show, "Stars Earn Stripes."
Osbourne told the paper that her 26-year-old son was fired from the program after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and indicated that the decision was delivered via email two days prior to his start date.
The New York Post adds that after meeting with NBC execs about it, Osbourne ultimately decided to leave "America's Got Talent."
"I just can't be fake," Osbourne is quoted as saying. "It's discrimination, and it was badly handled."
In a statement, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt has refuted the discrimination claim.
"First, we have the deepest affection for Sharon Osbourne and consider her to be part of the NBC family. And our hearts go out to her, Ozzy, Jack and his family at this time," Greenblatt said. "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."
On her Twitter account Monday, Osbourne clarified that she loves "America's Got Talent" with "all my heart and will of course finish out the season. It is still one of the best shows on tv ... I love @nbcagt @howiemandel @HowardStern & @NickCannon. We have the world's best crew. And most importantly, we have the best talent on tv."
She added Monday evening, "Thank you to everyone for your outpouring of support and love."