30 Years Ago: Ozzy Osbourne Tries to Kill His Wife
Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne have been through a lot over the course of their long marriage, but they've always managed to pull through intact – even after Ozzy blacked out and tried to kill his wife on Sept. 2, 1989.
As with quite a few of the events that put Ozzy on the front page of the tabloids in the '80s, substance abuse was involved. Osbourne's chemical dependencies had put him at something of a low ebb at the end of the decade, and although he'd recently scored another Top 20 platinum hit with his No Rest for the Wicked album, his personal life was about to hit bottom.
"There was a really bad atmosphere in the house, very hostile," Sharon said in 2005. "I knew that something was going to happen. He went to bed. I was reading downstairs. He came down in his underpants, sat on the sofa right opposite me and said, 'We've come to a decision.' I was like, 'Yeah' – sort of sarcastic – 'What's the decision?' and he said, 'We're very sorry but you're going to have to die. There's no other option.'"
Just as unfazed as you might be if you lived with Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon initially tried to shrug it off. "I said, 'Yeah, shut up, fuck off,' and he jumped on me and his whole body weight was on top of me," she continued. "He had his hands around my neck, he landed on top of me, I just kept thinking, 'The kids, the kids, you cannot do this, I'm not ready.'"
Fortunately, Sharon and Ozzy weren't alone, and the altercation ended before things took a turn toward the homicidal. The next thing he knew, the Prince of Darkness was in a filthy jail cell, getting a lecture from the police.
"I used to black out a lot," Osbourne recalled during a discussion with the London Evening Standard. "And my biggest fear was waking up in a police cell and having an old lady say to a police officer, 'Yes, that's the guy who ran my husband down,' or 'That's the guy who hit my son over the head with an axe. It used to terrify me. And then it happened – that day when I woke up in this little single cell with human shit up the walls – and I thought, 'What the fuck have I done now? Has one of my practical jokes backfired?'"
It was no joke, as Osbourne soon discovered. "I asked a police officer. I said: 'What am I here for?' I hadn't got a fucking clue. It's the most horrific feeling. He read me a piece of paper, and said, 'You're charged with attempting to murder Mrs. Sharon Osbourne.' I can't tell you how I felt. I just went numb."
In the end, the Osbournes found their way back together, following a court-mandated separation and a trip to rehab. Once he found his way on the wagon, Osbourne dedicated himself to moving forward as a better man – but to their credit, neither he nor Sharon made any attempt to whitewash the past.
"I regret trying to kill Sharon," Ozzy admitted after the 2009 publication of his autobiography, I Am Ozzy. "It wasn't my plan to go out, get pissed, try to strangle her and wake up in jail."
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