Elaine Welteroth is speaking out and setting the record straight after newly unearthed audio recording capturing the moments after Sharon Osbourne's March 10 on-air spat with Sheryl Underwood was released. Leaked to the Daily Mail four months after the incident that eventually led to Osbourne's departure from the CBS talk show, Welteroth could be heard in the leaked recording comforting an emotional Osbourne in her dressing room after the show, apologizing for the way the conversation went and telling her, "I know you're not racist."
On Thursday, just a day after the Daily Mail's report, which dubbed the recording "explosive" and accused Welteroth of "stabbing star in the back" shortly after consoling Osbourne, The Talk co-host addressed the audio clip. In a statement shared to Entertainment Tonight, Welteroth, who joined the talk show in December, reiterated that "none of us wanted that day to go how it did." She added that she does "not regret sharing these feelings in a private conversation with a colleague." Welteroth went on to "set the record straight," explaining that she "never filed a complaint with HR against Sharon Osbourne or anyone else," despite the report, which she said left her "disheartened."
"I am disheartened, however, that I was recorded without my consent and that my kindness has been taken out of context and weaponized in an attempt to absolve responsibility for someone else's actions," her statement continued. "I was honored to join The Talk to add my voice to important and lively conversations. I am so excited about the next chapter with our new co-host Jerry O'Connell and I am grateful for the new perspectives he will bring to the show."
According to the source who shared the audio recording with the Daily Mail, the conversation was captured on Welteroth's microphone when she visited Osborune in her dressing room after taping concluded. The conversation occurred just moments after the heated on-air discussion, which was prompted by Osbourne's show of support for British broadcaster Piers Morgan, who sparked controversy after his controversial remarks about Meghan Markle and her statements that she struggled with her mental health. During her conversation with Osbourne, Welteroth could be heard telling her co-host, "they asked me to ask that question. I said, no I'm not going to ask that question,' Welteroth says. 'I said to them, this is going to be a train wreck.'" She told Osbourne, "I don't think you're racist. No one who knows you would ever say that or think that.'"
The audio recording was leaked amid news that actor Jerry O'Connell, who has been guest hosting, will be joining The Talk as a permanent host in Season 12. O'Connell will be filling the place left vacant by Osbourne.