Adding Anschutz to Injury: Sharon Osbourne Blasts AEG Over Ozzy Lawsuit
Sharon Osbourne has penned a scathing open letter to Philip Anschutz, founder of concert promoter AEG, after her husband, Ozzy Osbourne, dropped his antitrust lawsuit against the company. The filing claimed that AEG had a requirement that if Ozzy were to play the O2 Arena in London, that he must also play the Staples Center in Los Angeles; Osbourne said he preferred to play the Forum, operated by AEG’s competitor, Madison Square Garden Entertainment.
Although AEG claimed a “victory” in their statement about the dismissal of the lawsuit, which came after the company agreed to end its practice of blocking artists from playing certain venues, Sharon minces no words in her reply, starting off her missive by purposely misspelling Anschutz’s name and saying, “We know Mr. Anshultz [sic] (aka ‘Daddy Big Bucks’) is living in his billionaire bubble.”
She then offered a point-by-point rebuttal of AEG’s “Victory” statement. First, she says her husband’s only intention with the suit was to play the O2 in London and that they were able to make the booking, as his O2 show will take place next February. “In my world, that means we won the case,” she wrote.
“From the start of this dialogue in February, this has been a battle about respect for the artists and their personal preferences,” she wrote. “It wasn’t then and isn’t now a battle between promoters, which is how this is being portrayed by the recent statement from AEG claiming this as a ‘victory.'”
She also contested AEG’s claim that the lawsuit was brought about by MSG, Live Nation and Irving Azoff, who is the CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, calling the allegation “disrespectful.” “Stop with your hubbildy, bubbuldy BULLSHIT and your little pissing contest with Live Nation and MSG,” she wrote. She also shot down the notion that the suit was a “publicity ploy,” pointing out that she and her husband had made only one statement about it.
She closed by swiping back at a part of the statement that seemed to poke fun at Ozzy’s past, where he infamously bit the heads off both a dove and a bat. “The only thing remotely interesting in your statement was your pitiful attempt at humor with your quote that Ozzy ‘had no idea what he was biting off,'” she wrote. “If you’re interested, Ozzy and I have got something nice for you bite on … our assholes … see ya loser!”
Ozzy is currently in the middle of a North American leg of his No More Tours 2 tour, which he has called his final world tour, though he still has the intention of playing gigs. Rolling Stone reviewed the leg’s kickoff, saying, “Both Osbourne and his band were in top form throughout the evening. Ozzy’s voice was strong and on pitch, even during some of the songs’ impossibly high parts, and Wylde & Co. seemed to play a bazillion notes each on their instruments.”
Sharon Osbourne’s full statement:
We know Mr. Anshultz [sic] (aka “Daddy Big Bucks”) is living in his billionaire bubble, but the fact is that Ozzy sued AEG for the right to perform at the O2 in London. We won the case and Ozzy’s show at the O2 went on sale on September 5 for a show next year (February 11, 2019)–so in my world that means we won the case. Ozzy is playing the O2 without having to play the Staples Center, which is all that mattered to us. From the start of this dialogue in February, this has been a battle about respect for the artists and their personal preferences. It wasn’t then and isn’t now a battle between promoters, which is how this is being portrayed by the recent statement from AEG claiming this as a “victory.”
To say that this “suit was instigated by Azoff and paid for by MSG and Live Nation,” and that “it was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off,” is untrue and disrespectful to Ozzy, myself and the entire team working on this tour. Whatever differences you have with Irving Azoff, don’t presume you know who instigated the lawsuit or you know anything about Ozzy Osbourne, because you obviously don’t know anything about Ozzy’s history or mine. So stop with your hubbildy, bubbuldy BULLSHIT and your little pissing contest with Live Nation and MSG.
Regarding the allegations in the AEG statement that this “suit was a transparent public relations ploy,” if that was indeed the case, why then did AEG rush out a statement of victory? While we, throughout this process, until now have only made one statement around the initial filing.
Ozzy’s preference was to perform at The Forum, a venue that has been a part of his music history for more than 46 years. From the start, this was not a battle solely for Ozzy, as much as one for other artists who were being forced to abide by these rules and regulations. Let’s not all forget why you’re here … the artists.
The only thing remotely interesting in your statement was your pitiful attempt at humor with your quote that Ozzy “had no idea what he was biting off.” If you’re interested, Ozzy and I have got something nice for you [to] bite on … our assholes … see ya loser!
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