Sheryl Underwood is clearing up questions about her communication with former The Talk co-host Sharon Osbourne after an internal investigation into her behavior on the March 10 episode of the CBS talk show prompted the original panel member's exit from the series. During Monday's episode, the first since the show's return from hiatus following Osbourne's outburst, Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth said they were looking to heal and move on from the moment, in which Osbourne got heated while defending Piers Morgan's racist criticism of Meghan Markle.
Underwood previously shared on her podcast that she had not spoken to Osbourne and that her former co-host had not called her, prompting Osbourne to release screenshots of text messages she had sent Underwood, accusing her of misrepresenting the situation. "I want to clear something up. There was a discussion about Sharon and I communicating with each other," Underwood said on Monday's show. "I have not spoken to [her], and do not have any phone call, missed or received, that I can find in my phone." She acknowledged that there were text messages sent to her by Osbourne, but that she didn't "speak about or acknowledge those text messages" because she didn't know if she was permitted to respond to her amid the network's internal investigation.
Underwood also explained that in the initial confrontation with Osbourne, during which her co-host warned her not to cry and asked her to "educate" her, she had been very careful not to "escalate things," as she "didn't want to be perceived as the angry Black woman." She continued, "I wanted to remain calm and remain focused, and it's difficult to go back to that day because I just feel the trauma."
Welteroth added, "When you go back and watch what happened in that episode, you will see two Black women walking the same tightrope that Black women are walking every single day in the workplace. ...We knew that we had to stay composed in that situation, even in the face of someone who was A, not listening, and B, who went off the rails into disrespect."
Asked how she would react if she ran into Osbourne once again, Underwood said it would depend on her former co-worker's behavior. "If she greeted me warmly and sincerely, I would give her back the same, because we've been on this show for 10 years," she said. "I want people to understand when you're friends with somebody you stay friends. And what did Maya Angelou say? When people show you who they are, believe them." Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.