Kelly Osbourne dishes on Ozzy, Sharon, reality TV childhood in new memoir

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Kelly Osbourne's new memoir (Jason Fraley)

WASHINGTON — She grew up with a heavy-metal rock star for a father, a savvy businesswoman for a mother and reality TV cameras rolling all over the house.

Now, Kelly Osbourne tells all in her new memoir, “There is No F*cking Secret: Letters from a Bad*ss B*tch,” the title of which pokes fun at the clichéd celebrity question: “What’s the secret to success?”

“There is no secret!” Osbourne told WTOP. “You have to be a good person, you have to want good things in your life, work hard for them, and when you make a mistake, get up and try again. It’s not rocket science. For me, I also named it that because my whole life in the public life, people have told me who I am and I set into that perception and I allowed people to think I was a person that I’m not.”

Thus, writing this memoir was a therapeutic experience of self-discovery.

“I hated who I was and spent so much time learning to at least be content with myself,” Osbourne said. “I got frustrated that people thought I was someone I’m not, but then I realized how ridiculously selfish that is of me if I’m not going to tell them who I am. … I’m so nervous about this [book], because it is so honest. This is my life and most people are going to think that I’m bloody nuts, but that’s OK.”

The format of the book was inspired by comedian Dawn French’s book “Dear Fatty,” written as a series of letters to herself: “Dear Dating,” “Dear Bullying,” “Dear Inner Filter” and “Dear Vagina.”

“There was a time in my life I could only write letters [because I was in rehab] or that wonderful mental institution my mum put me in, which worked because it scared me to death,” Osbourne said. “We started out by bullet-pointing all the different topics we wanted to hit. … Then I said, ‘We should do letters!’ … We can actually tackle these topics head-on instead of being all over the place [and] you don’t have to read from page one to the end. You can pick it up, put it down and start from anywhere.”

So, which was the most fun chapter to write and which was the most difficult?

“I think you know which one was the most fun to write; I just couldn’t get past ‘Dear Vagina’ without laughing,” Osbourne said with a laugh. “I think ‘Dear Mouth’ [about speaking out] is a very important chapter in the book. But the hardest [chapter] was my dad’s accident and my mum’s cancer. I just did my audio book and I cried on my audio book. I was like, ‘Aww, geez. You’re supposed to be tough!'”

You can sense Kelly’s genuine affection for her parents by reading their individual chapters.

In Chapter Four, “Dear Mum,” she calls her mother Sharon “the baddest b*tch I know.”

“I have friends who have kids who are teenagers now and I have a whole newfound respect for my mum, seeing what I must have put her through,” Osbourne said. “I cannot stand that she was right about everything! I just have to give her the credit and tell her how much I love her. … My mum threw herself under a bus for us every single day while running an entire empire! She’s the baddest! I’m telling you, there is not one businesswoman in the music industry … that has ever done it better.”

In Chapter Five, “Dear Dad,” she hails her father Ozzy, writing, “No matter what mistakes you have made in your personal life and your role as my father, there is no way I could have anything but respect for the fact that you’re 70 years old and selling out 70,000-seat arenas and running around stage for 2 1/2 hours a night. I challenge anyone to find a 19-year-old who puts on a better show.”

While fans will always remember the first time they heard “Iron Man,” “Paranoid” or “Crazy Train,” Ozzy’s daughter says it’s impossible to remember when she first listened to Black Sabbath’s music.

“You have to understand, I was born and then three months later, I was on tour,” Osbourne said. “So, there was no discovering Black Sabbath or rock ‘n’ roll music. That was my life! I didn’t know any different. It was when I started going to school that I realized that we were a little bit different.”

She says Ozzy’s pop-culture reputation as a bat-biting burnout doesn’t tell the full story.

“My father is one of the smartest men you will ever meet in your life,” Osbourne said. “He knows everything. He remembers everything. … When I’ve had a secret conversation in the other room and he’ll repeat it to me six months later verbatim, I didn’t even know he could hear me! I’m like, ‘How do you even remember that?’ My dad is very smart. … He loves to be naughty. I have that in me too, that little anarchist inside that makes you mischievous, but it’s also part of what makes him so charming.”

She says he also goes out of his way to avoid public feuds with other musicians.

“If you’ve noticed, my father has never, ever — except for once when he defended me — had a public feud with anyone,” Osbourne said. “He knows that if I give them the time of day, all I’m doing is feeding the animals, and I don’t wanna do that — because I eat them! Ahh, the bat, the chicken, the doves. But now, he spends his life walking his dog, Rocky, who sits by the door waiting for him.”

He’s even overcome recent infidelity to find a stronger love with Sharon than ever before.

“With everything that went on — I’m sure everybody’s read about it, I don’t want to talk about it — my parents have fallen back in love in a whole new way,” Osbourne said. “I don’t think they’ve ever been so in love. I can’t stand the making out! It’s so gross! When he’s watching the telly on the couch, all I can hear on one side of my head is the slapping of the kisses. I’m like, ‘No! Stop! It’s enough!’ And it’s the same line I get every time: ‘How’d you think you were made?’ [I reply], ‘Immaculate conception.'”

Such family hi-jinx made for a hit reality show, following Ozzy, Sharon, Kelly and her brother Jack, to whom she writes: “The day you were born, I got a best friend for life.” MTV’s “The Osbournes” (2002-2005) won an Emmy and inspired everything from “Keeping up with the Kardashians” to “Hogan Knows Best,” “Flavor of Love” to “Jersey Shore,” “The Real Housewives” to “Vanderpump Rules.”

“We were the first and only ones who did it the way we did it,” Osbourne said. “[Today], they’ll film a season in less than six weeks. … It took us six months! … If we did it the way that they do it now, we’d probably still be doing it. You have a lot more control. … But we got to a point where we’re like, ‘Let’s end on a high, people know who we are now, it isn’t what we want to do forever, [so] it’s a nice time to stop.’ Now, we have more offers than ever to do it again! It’s got me thinking: Do we? Or do we not?”

Until then, she’s promoting her memoir, inspiring others to embrace their wonderfully weird selves.

“My strongest message in the book is you can get through everything with love,” Osbourne said. “I wrote it in a way that I want you to laugh along with me and cry along with me at my crazy life, to make you realize that you’re not alone and that other people are going through these things, too.”

Click here for more information on the book. Listen to our full conversation with Kelly Osbourne below:

WTOP's Jason Fraley chats with Kelly Osbuorne (Full Interview) (Jason Fraley)

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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