Two years in the past, Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of Oz Media, advised CNBC throughout a reside tv broadcast that heavy steel legend Ozzy Osbourne and his spouse, music trade supervisor and former discuss present host Sharon Osbourne, turned pals with him and invested in his firm after a authorized battle.
“Enjoyable truth: our buddy Ozzy and Sharon sued us briefly, after which we determined to be pals and now they’re traders in Oz,” Watson mentioned on CNBC on the time. (You’ll be able to watch the video above.)
It seems none of that was true, in keeping with Sharon Osbourne, who spoke to CNBC on Thursday simply as hedge fund honcho Marc Lasry quit as Ozy Media’s chairman.
Lasry’s resignation, and the revelation from Sharon Osbourne, got here days after The New York Times reported that an Oz govt had posed as a YouTube official on a February name with Goldman Sachs over a possible $40 million funding. Past Lasry’s resignation, veteran journalist Katty Kay has resigned from Ozy Media and investor SV Angel has decided it is giving up its shares within the firm.
“This man is the most important shyster I’ve ever seen in my life,” Osbourne mentioned, referring to Watson, simply after CNBC answered her telephone name. Osbourne mentioned she had reviewed Watson’s declare after CNBC reached out to her crew with the small print within the wake of the assorted controversies surrounding Oz Media.
Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne announce that Ozzfest 2007 might be free. The announcement was made throughout a press convention on the Century Plaza lodge in Los Angeles, California on February 6, 2007.
Jason Merritt/TERM | FilmMagic | Getty Pictures
The Osbournes filed a trademark lawsuit in 2017 over the identify Oz Fest, which is Oz Media’s annual live performance and competition. The Osbournes had for years produced a steel music competition known as Ozzfest, which has featured acts resembling Ozzy Osbourne’s unique band Black Sabbath, Device and Slayer.
Osbourne advised CNBC that Watson tried to intimidate her after the go well with was filed, saying that his firm has a ton of assets and will draw out the authorized battle a lot that the household would have needed to proceed to pay exorbitant authorized charges.
Osbourne mentioned the 2 sides settled after the couple completed paying round $300,000 in authorized charges over the trademark battle between Oz Media and the Osbournes’ firm.
The Wrap reviews that court docket paperwork filed towards Oz Media on the time declare the Oz Fest logos “are almost similar in sight, sound, connotation and industrial impression to MLC’s well-known Ozzfest mark.”
Courtroom paperwork say the settlement got here in 2018. Osbourne shared with CNBC the small print of the settlement.
“He could not have the type of artists that we have now on our invoice,” Osbourne mentioned, referring to Watson. “So he could not have any rock artists or different artists on his invoice. As a result of he was beginning to take rap artists and we have had a number of rap artists on. So I am like ‘that is getting ridiculous now.’ So, he needed to approve the payments with me and he needed to approve the promoting with me.”
An Oz Media spokesperson didn’t return repeated emails searching for touch upon Osbourne’s remarks.
Carlos Watson speaks onstage throughout HISTORYTalks Management & Legacy offered by HISTORY at Carnegie Corridor on February 29, 2020 in New York Metropolis.
Noam Galai | Getty Pictures
Watson and his firm have been below growing scrutiny since a report by the New York Times detailed quite a few controversies at Oz Media. The report describes an occasion when an Oz Media govt allegedly impersonated a YouTube consultant in a telephone name with Goldman Sachs, which was occupied with investing in Watson’s agency. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly began probing the telephone name.
Watson, a former MSNBC contributor and CNN host, based Oz Media in 2013. The corporate produces on-line articles and tv programming. It has attracted help from a number of big-name traders and celebrities, resembling former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Mark Cuban have appeared at Oz Fest occasions.
In 2019, Watson, whereas sitting subsequent to Oz investor and eventual chairman Lasry, advised CNBC that after the lawsuit was settled with the star couple, they turned traders into his enterprise. Lasry, a hedge fund supervisor and co-owner of the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, was named chair of Oz Media’s board in September.
After he was requested whether or not the Osbournes invested in Oz, Watson mentioned, “Now they’re traders. They’re a part of the household.” He was showing on CNBC to advertise Oz Fest, which was set to happen in New York on the time. CNBC was the media accomplice for Oz Fest 2019, which was canceled as a consequence of excessive warmth.
Osbourne, herself a longtime TV persona, mentioned that neither he nor her husband have ever been shareholders into the corporate. Sharon Osbourne left the daytime discuss present “The Discuss” this 12 months following a heated dialog on air and an inner investigation.
(L-R) Samantha Bee, Mark Cuban, CEO and Co-Founder Carlos Watson, and Jeb Bush communicate onstage throughout OZY FEST 2017 Offered By OZY.com at Rumsey Playfield on July 22, 2017 in New York Metropolis.
Bryan Bedder | Getty Pictures
“We’re not ever, ever a buddy, and we have no curiosity in his firm,” Osbourne mentioned in response to Watson’s claims within the CNBC interview. When requested whether or not she and her husband have ever invested in Watson’s firm, Osbourne mentioned: “You have to be joking. No manner did we put money into something.”
Osbourne mentioned that her husband, Ozzy Osbourne, has by no means spoken or met with Carlos Watson, whereas she and Watson and have solely spoken over the telephone.
“He is insane,” Osbourne mentioned about Watson. She famous that throughout the authorized battle he did supply her shares of the corporate however she declined the supply.
“To be sincere, he did say, ‘Nicely we’ll provide you with shares within the firm, however I mentioned ‘your organization is price nothing.’ He mentioned, ‘We now have all this backing. All these billionaire individuals. And you already know we will carry on suing you and I may give you some shares.’ However I am like, ‘Shares in what? What do you do?”
Watson, in keeping with Osbourne, repeatedly tried these ways throughout these conversations.
“Then he tells me he is bought billions behind him as a result of his essential shareholder of the corporate is the spouse of a man that died [and ran] Apple,” Osbourne mentioned, referring to Emerson Collective’s Laurene Powell Jobs. He additionally used Powell Jobs’ wealth as an intimidation issue, in keeping with Osbourne. “We have got her cash behind us. I will battle you all the way in which,” Osbourne mentioned Watson advised her.
“I am like, ‘Nevertheless it’s not proper you’ve got stolen this identify,'” Osbourne mentioned.
Watson has appeared on CNBC quite a few instances, together with in January this 12 months — when he was on a panel with Ben Smith, the New York Occasions editor who broke the story over the weekend concerning the Goldman Sachs name.
— CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this text.