Sharon Osbourne Apologizes for 'Panicked' Defense of Piers Morgan amid Meghan Markle Controversy

Sharon Osbourne has issued a public apology for defending Piers Morgan amid backlash over remarks he made about Meghan Markle.

Early on Friday morning, Osbourne, 68, shared a statement on Twitter apologizing for any harm she may have caused in supporting Morgan.

Osbourne previously defended Morgan, 55, on Twitter, telling him, "I am with you. I stand by you," before also coming to his defense on The Talk a day later during a heated discussion with co-host Sheryl Underwood, 57.

"After some reflection, after sitting with your comments & sitting with my heart, I would like to address the discussion on The Talk this past Wednesday," she began her post. "I have always been embraced with so much love & support from the black community & I have deep respect & love for the black community."

"To anyone of color that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry. I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive & allowed my fear & horror of being accused of being racist take over," Osbourne continued. "There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast. I am not perfect, I am still learning like the rest of us & will continue to learn, listen and do better."

Noting that she goes not "condone racism, misogyny or bullying," Osbourne said, "I should have been more specific about that in my tweet."

"I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn't make that clear distinction," she continued. "I hope we can collectively continue to learn from each other & from ourselves so that we can all continue to pave the way for much needed growth & change."

"The community on this platform means a lot to me," she added. "I hope we can all hold each other up with accountability, compassion & love during this powerful time of paving the way for so much needed change."

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Morgan faced widespread criticism for comments he made about Markle, including questioning her authenticity in discussing her mental health struggles, on Good Morning Britain earlier this week. After his co-host Alex Beresford called him out on-air, Morgan stormed off set. Later that day, it was announced that he would be leaving his post at the ITV morning news show.

After her initial show of support for Morgan on Twitter, Osbourne said that she had been accused of being racist during Wednesday's episode of The Talk.

"Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No," she said. "Because it's his opinion. It's not my opinion … I support him for his freedom of speech, and he's my friend."

Underwood, 57, pushed back, asking: "What would you say to people who may feel that while you're standing by your friend, it appears you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don't agree?"

Tearing up, Osbourne replied, "I very much feel like I'm about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend, who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist?"

On Friday, Morgan, who continues to stand by his comments about Markle, reposted Osbourne's statement, claiming she had been "bullied into" apologizing.

"Sharon's been shamed & bullied into apologising for defending me against colleagues accusing me of racism because I don't believe Meghan Markle's bull—-," he tweeted. "This is where we've reached. This is where we've reached. I demand an apology from those @TheTalkCBS bullies for their disgraceful slurs against ME."

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