Sharon Osbourne gained international fame after appearing in ‘The Osbournes’, an MTV programme that followed her family life with her rock star husband, Ozzy, and two of their children, Jack and Kelly. Now a judge on the television shows ‘The X-Factor’ in the UK and ‘America’s Got Talent’ in the US, she will next week auction off furnishings, art and memorabilia from her homes in California and Buckinghamshire, southern England. Some of the proceeds will be donated to the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation.
Why are you selling everything?
We’ve moved from our Beverly Hills home to a new and smaller house in California. Also, the kids have moved out. Over the years, we have accumulated a huge amount of stuff that we just have to get rid of. And the auction doesn’t include everything. I have three more storerooms heaped full of stuff.
What does the auction have to do with your charity?
The money is for the hospital that cured me [of colon cancer], the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. I almost died. The charity provides free screening for people who need it most. The test [a colonoscopy] is very expensive and many US medical insurance firms won’t pay out for it.
What does the foundation do?
It’s a support system. It provides a babysitting service and helps by driving patients to and from treatment. When I used to have my chemotherapy I would have three people come and pick me up afterwards. On the way out, I would see patients who had just had treatment waiting at the bus stop about to go home. There was no one with them, nobody to come and pick them up. It absolutely broke my heart. I vowed that if I ever recovered I would set up a charity to help these unfortunate people. Most of the money is raised by me and Ozzy.
How many homes do you own?
Three: the one in Buckinghamshire, the one in Malibu and the one where we now live, in Hidden Hill, California. This house is a completely different style. It has more land; it’s minimalistic and very light. Our houses before have all been very dark. Each of our properties has had a different mix of styles and furniture.
Which one holds the best memories?
Welders House in England and the Doheny Hill house in Los Angeles [as featured in The Osbournes], where the the kids grew up. I have some truly amazing memories of that place. Unfortunately, it became a tourist attraction about six months after the show was aired. It was on a movie stars’ tour map and coaches would turn up outside every 15 minutes, seven days a week. We used to get teenage kids driving by at 3am honking their horns and shouting at us.
Why did you move?
Since my recovery, I’ve gone all minimalist and wanted to live in a place that is light and airy. Things and stuff don’t matter so much to me now. I used to feel safe with clutter around and in the LA house every single surface was covered with items. I loved it. Now my priorities have changed; I don’t like too many dark things. Me and Ozzy spent three years looking for the right house and we knew straight away that this was the one.
Which item of memorabilia do you find hardest to part with?
One of the statues, which has a half-ram, half-man holding a barely dressed woman in his arms. It’s definitely one of Ozzy’s favourites because it’s black and evil and he loves that kind of thing. I find it too dark. Also Ozzy’s pool table [$10,000]. I’ll be sad to see that go as it was hand made for him and holds a lot of happy memories.
Will you be sad to see the quad bikes go?
I’ll be glad to see the back of the Banshee after Ozzy had an accident on it in 2003 that nearly killed him. I will, however, be sad to see the baby quad bikes go. We’ve had them from the time the kids were little and we had a lot of fun with them. They’ve given us a lot of joy.
Did your kids contribute anything to the sale?
You know, they’re just like their dad. Each time I went to give something away either Kelly or Jack would say: ‘I remember when you bought that. You can’t give that away.’ And I would say: ‘Right, you take it to your home.’ And they would say: ‘I haven’t got the room.’ I find it interesting to see how my family and other people react to possessions. I’ve changed my entire view on life. Surviving cancer made me grow up and realise what’s important. Possessions can be replaced but people can’t. Having said that, I’ve garnered a lot of joy from certain items and I want to pass that joy on.
Where do you feel most at home?
England. We spend a lot of time travelling back and forth across the Atlantic. Wherever Ozzy is, I try to be there with him and also with the kids, even though they’ve grown up now. I spend about half the year in England and not at any set time. I go whenever I’m required.
Which is your favourite home?
Where we are now in California. It’s decorated in light colours and I love it. We have the most amazing views. We overlook surrounding towns and valleys. We even have a view of the ocean. Very often Ozzy and me will sit outside at night just looking at the light of the towns beneath. The view is fantastic any time of day but sunsets are the best. There’s lots of wildlife around: deer, coyotes, rattle snakes, scorpions, eagles and hawks. The beauty of the place takes over any fear I may have of wild animals. There are no mosquitoes up here so no bites. Mozzies usually love me. Maybe it’s because of my sweet blood due to all the chocolate I eat.
Which is your favourite room?
My dressing room. It’s huge, about 30ft by 30ft. I have all my favourite things there: my knick-knacks, pictures and things the kids made for me.
What matters most in a home?
That everything is comfortable. I don’t like sterile environments or perfect rooms. It’s got to be lived-in.
Do you employ an interior decorator or do it yourself?
I do it myself. I get people to source the materials but it’s all my own taste and my choice.
What inspires you?
I feel that interiors should reflect the personality of the property owner. I don’t like the idea of professionals going into someone’s home and decorating it for them. A home should say something about those who live in it. When we’ve toured the world, me and Ozzy have always picked up things from wherever we went, be that Russia or Alaska or Paris, to put in our home.
Has Ozzy had any influence?
Ozzy likes to have his own bunker. In the Beverley Hills home he would go in there, with all its panelling, draw the velvet curtains and shut the door away from the cameras.
What makes a home?
Love. A home has to have love in it.
How many pets do you have?
Sixteen dogs. They have their own rooms and their own bathroom. A home isn’t a home without pets.
Which is your favourite?
Mini, my white Pomeranian. I’ve had her 10 years and love her to bits.
Do you house train them?
Nah. What’s the point in life if you’re not covered in dog hair?
How important is a garden?
It’s vital. I love my garden. It’s the most important thing. Usually when I move into a new house, I do the garden first. It’s normally the other way round. People do the garden last. As soon as I moved into Hidden Hill, I planted lots of lemon, orange and apple trees as well as a herb garden.
A herb garden? Do you cook?
What me? I can’t boil an egg.
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