From rock bottom to rehab, heartbreak to new love, and not forgetting modelling for Madonna, Kelly Osbourne’s been on a hell of a journey. Now she’s left her inner brat behind… sort of!
By Louise Gannon, photography by Euan Danks
Everyone enjoys a giggle at the expense of their boss, and Kelly Osbourne is no different. She’s not going to let the fact that her boss is Madonna get in the way of some gentle ribbing.
“Me and Lola [that’s Lourdes, Madge’s 16-year-old daughter and Kelly’s new best friend] call her the Voice of God,” she laughs.
Kelly, 27, is the face of Madonna and Lourdes’ fashion collection, Material Girl, but not even the Queen of Pop (someone we personally wouldn’t want to mess with) escapes Kelly’s cheeky brand of humour.
“When we were shooting the campaign she wasn’t there, she was thousands of miles away, but after every shot, the director would say: ‘M wants you to put your arm like this’, or: ‘M wants you to change those shorts.’
“It was really freaky because we couldn’t work out how on earth she knew what was happening. Lola and I were just laughing our heads off. It turned out, she was having every frame of every picture sent to her as it happened and literally directing the whole shoot from a room in another country. It was genius. She’s such a total pro.”
It’s not a particularly cold day in London but Kelly, who’s wearing skinny jeans, a white shirt and black blazer, is shivering.
She’s just stepped off a plane from her adopted hometown of Los Angeles, so the British weather has come as a bit of a shock to the system.
Not to mention the fact that Kelly, the girl who blasted into the public consciousness as the chubby, potty-mouthed rebellious teen on the MTV cult reality hit The Osbournes, is now so wafer-thin there is absolutely no meat on her bones to help ward off the afternoon chill.
“I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been and the healthiest I’ve ever been. The totally insane thing is that I’m a UK size four to six and people still say I’m fat,” she says.
“I get called fat all the time. A big fat whore. Lady Gaga’s fans are the worst. They’ve said I should kill myself, that they hope I get raped. I mean it’s crazy but I’ve had this all my life and I just try and ignore it.”
Some would say, however, that she has fuelled the flames when it comes to Gaga’s “Little Monsters”.
In 2009, she criticised the singer’s looks and labelled her a “Butterface” (everything “but her face” is attractive). She then slated Gaga for skipping the red carpet at this year’s Grammys, and later – when talking about the star’s recent weight gain – said she thought the Paparazzi singer might be pregnant.
“I have no filter,” she shrieks. “I say what I think and that’s it. I actually think she’s a good singer but she has the worst fans in the world and you have a responsibility to stop that. I think you do anyway.”
Turning it around
Not scared to speak her mind then. Which is why Kelly was a shoo-in when it came to choosing a host for E! Entertainment’s show, Fashion Police, which sees her and Joan Rivers mauling and applauding the outfits of various celebrities.
“I mean, we say bitchy things, but it’s really funny and everyone knows it’s all very tongue in cheek,” Kelly says.
“It’s like we are always having a pop at [Glee star] Lea Michele and she thinks it’s hilarious. And I was in a restaurant bathroom the other day and Julia Roberts was there washing her hands and she told me she thought it was brilliant.
“Karl Lagerfeld loves it too. We’ve got invites to all the great fashion shows so everyone understands that it’s just harmless fun – but very funny at the same time.”
The first time Fabulous interviewed Kelly was a few years ago and she was a very different character. Unhappy, defensive and a bit touchy, a far cry from the bubbly, fun girl here today.
She nods. “I was awful. I want people to know I’ve changed. I had a period where I behaved really badly, I was a complete a**e, but I was incredibly unhappy, incredibly messed up.
“I left London and I went home to LA, I went to rehab, I had therapy and basically I just grew up.”
When she checked into rehab in January 2009, it was her third attempt at rehabilitation in five years. At the time, she was going through the breakdown of her engagement to model Luke Worrall, 22. A relationship which finally ended the following year after he had an affair with transsexual, Elle Schneider, 23.
“I woke up one day and wished I was dead,” Kelly says frankly. “I wanted to kill myself. Luke was still there and I was unbelievably unhappy. I was in a relationship based on lies and manipulation.
“I was doing drugs and partying – not for fun but just to numb myself because I just didn’t want to be me. I didn’t like myself. I hated my life. I felt everyone hated me and I just couldn’t see things ever changing.”
But this spell in rehab was different. With the help of her mother, the indomitable Sharon, 60, Kelly finally came to realise that her problems ran deeper than drink or drugs.
“They were to do with my mental state of mind. The drink, drugs and bad relationships were a smokescreen, it was about a lot of other things, a lot of it was to do with my family.”
Life or death
Born into the maddest, baddest arm of British and Hollywood rock royalty, Kelly shot to fame at 17 when The Osbournes premiered on MTV in early 2002.
“I was the ultimate brat and was slated by everyone. That does affect you seriously but I still don’t regret doing that show. It was totally real, totally my family and totally true to the family I’m proud to be part of,” she says.
And it was that family which Kelly became terrified of losing.
In July 2002, Sharon was diagnosed with colon cancer and the following year, her rock god dad Ozzy, 63, nearly died in a horrific quad bike accident.
Earlier this year, her brother Jack, 26, announced he has the degenerative condition multiple sclerosis and has lost 60 per cent of his vision in one eye.
“It’s like all my life the people I care about most, I think I’m going to lose them. I went through this whole period of thinking they were going to die,” she says.
“I gave up working for two years in 2002 to nurse my mum and dad. I’d go between the two of them mopping, up, nursing. I’d put on a swimming costume to get my dad in the shower [Ozzy broke his collarbone, six ribs and a vertebra in the smash].
“It’s terrifying, you live with a fear that never goes. Like you feel something bad is always going to happen. I was numbing myself rather than dealing with these fears. I moved to London in 2006 to escape my family, but everything was wrapped up with them. I needed to go home, grow up and sort myself out.”
Six months after checking out of rehab, Kelly signed up to the US version of Strictly, Dancing With The Stars, and it too proved to be life-changing. She learnt discipline, which – growing up on the road with a rock star – had never been a part of her life.
Her dance partner, Louis Van Amstel, 40, took control of her diet. She says it was “like learning how to eat”.
For most of Kelly’s life, her mum Sharon has fought a battle with bulimia and binge eating. She had a gastric band fitted in 1999 and removed in 2006, and since then her weight has yo-yoed. Sharon recently signed up to become the spokeswoman for the Atkins diet.
Kelly has never had a positive role model when it comes to her diet, and has admitted to binge eating and taking slimming pills in the past.
At her heaviest she weighed 11½st, but after losing 4½st is now around 7st. And this time, she lost weight the healthy way, and she says it’s for good.
“I lost weight with the dancing and by actually eating properly. I haven’t put it back on. I still exercise every day, even just for 15 minutes, but I’m careful with what I eat, I read the labels.”
It has also been reported that she’s been following the “plate diet”, which is based on eating from a plate a contrasting colour to the food on it – a technique that studies have shown helps you eat less.
Now Kelly cooks, with the help of her boyfriend, chef Matthew Mosshart, 28, (brother of The Kills rocker Alison). They met at Kate Moss’ wedding in July last year. He was working in Nashville but has now moved to LA.
“He’s amazing. I couldn’t believe that he truly liked me because I never think people ever could, but I’m so happy. I don’t think I’ve ever really known what love is like before. It’s all very simple, we hang out, we laugh, we just get on. My family love him.”
Sounds like wedding bells and babies may be in the offing?
She laughs. “Maybe, but not yet. I’m not ready to be a mum yet. My brother, Jack, has just had a baby [six-month-old Pearl with his new wife, model and actress Lisa Stelly, 26] and he’s an amazing dad.
“But I know I’m not ready to be a mum yet. I’m not mature enough. When I have kids I want to be properly ready.”
Jack, she says, is doing fine.
“He’s an incredible man. He’s coping brilliantly. Of course I went off at the deep end when I heard, but he’s just calm and quiet and dealing with it. He won’t tell me anything bad that happens because he just wants me to know the positives. My brother is a hero.”
As she talks she fiddles with her hair. It’s the colour of Parma Violets. Just like Katy Perry’s.
Her eyes narrow at this comparison.
“You know, people say I copy their style, but I’ve been dressing like this for years. I did the hair bow five years before Lady Gaga did. My hair was this colour before Katy Perry.
“But I take it as a compliment, and no one can get this exact shade I have because it’s taken me and my hairdresser years to perfect it,” she giggles.
It’s hard not to like Kelly. Underneath the craziness, the non-stop talk, the outrageous hair and brightly coloured clothes is a very sweet girl.
Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes, was just 13 when they met in 2010, but Kelly’s vulnerability makes her seem younger than her years, so it’s no surprise the pair hit it off, despite the age difference.
“I was standing at the side of the stage in Hyde Park watching Jay-Z perform and this girl came up to me and asked if her friend Lola could say hello.
“Then she came back with Lourdes. I had no idea everyone called her Lola. She told me she loved my style and I told her that her mum was my ultimate fashion icon. I mean I wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t for Madonna.
“We just got on really well. I guess Lola and I both have really strong mothers. She’s clever, she’s funny and she just buzzes with ideas. I love her.”
Kelly recalls when she found out she had been chosen as the new face of the Material Girl collection. “I was delighted. I couldn’t actually believe anyone would want me as a model. And the fact it was Madonna… she’s amazing.”
Not that she would swap her for her own mother, Sharon. They are tighter than ever. So would she like to see Sharon triumphantly return to The X Factor?
“No way! We’ve just got her back [she recently resigned as a judge on America’s Got Talent]. We need her at home.”
Ask Kelly what she’s proud of and she says: “I’ve never taken money from my family. I’ve worked since I was 15, I may have gone off the rails but I’ve never lived off my parents.”
And her greatest fear?
She looks worried: “That people might think I’m boring.”
We can assure you, Kelly, that’ll never happen
What’s your most treasured possession?
My Pomeranian dog, Sidney.
Who are your dream dinner party guests?
Andy Warhol, Frank Sinatra and the whole of the Rat Pack.
What’s your biggest regret?
Putting my mum through hell.
What does love feel like?
The best feeling in the world.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
What’s your worst habit?
Sucking my thumb.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
What’s your greatest achievement?
Being where I am today.
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