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Ozy Media founder Carlos Watson lied about Ozzy Osbourne investment, Sharon Osbourne says


Two years ago, Carlos Watson, the co-founder and CEO of Ozy Media, told CNBC during a live television broadcast that heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, the music industry manager and former talk show host Sharon Osbourne, became friends with him and invested in his company after a legal battle.

Watson, then a CNBC host at that time said: “Fun fact” Ozzy Osbourne sued us briefly and we agreed to be friends. You can see the video below.

It turns out none of that was true, according to Sharon Osbourne, who spoke to CNBC on Thursday just as hedge fund honcho Marc Lasry quit as Ozy Media’s chairman.

Lasry’s resignation, and the revelation from Sharon Osbourne, came days after The New York Times reported that an Ozy executive had posed as a YouTube official on a February call with Goldman Sachs over a potential $40 million investment. Beyond Lasry’s resignation, veteran journalist Katty Kay has resigned from Ozy Media and investor SV Angel has decided it’s giving up their shares in the company.

Osbourne announced that Watson is “the biggest shyster in my life” after CNBC had answered her telephone call. After CNBC reached out, Osbourne stated that she had looked at Watson’s claim and provided details to her team.

Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne announced that Ozzfest 2007 would be completely free. This announcement was made at a press conference held at Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles on February 6, 2007.

Getty Images The Osbournes filed in 2017 over the name Ozy Fest, which is Ozy Media’s annual concert and festival.| FilmMagic | Getty Images

The Osbournes filed a trademark lawsuit in 2017 over the name Ozy Fest, which is Ozy Media’s annual concert and festival. Ozzfest is a music festival that Ozzy Osbournes has produced for many years. This event featured artists such as Tool, Ozzy Osbourne, and Slayer.

CNBC reported that Watson attempted to intimidate Osbourne after she filed the lawsuit. He claimed that his company had a lot of resources, and that it could drag out the legal fight so long that the family would have to continue paying exorbitant legal costs.

Osbourne claimed that the parties settled when the Osbournes had paid around $300,000.

The Wrap reports that court documents filed against Ozy Media at the time claim the Ozy Fest trademarks “are nearly identical in sight, sound, connotation and commercial impression to MLC’s well-known Ozzfest mark.”

The court documents state that the agreement was made in 2018. CNBC was able to get details about the deal from Osbourne.

Osbourne spoke of Watson, saying that Watson couldn’t afford the same artists. He couldn’t include any alternative or rock artists on his bill. We’ve seen a couple of rap musicians on his bill, so he started to consider rap artists. It’s getting absurd now, so I was like “This is ridiculous.” He had to sign the bill with me, and also the advertising.

Ozy Media spokeswoman did not respond to repeated requests for comment about Osbourne’s comments.

Carlos Watson speaks onstage during HISTORYTalks Leadership & Legacy presented by HISTORY at Carnegie Hall on February 29, 2020 in New York City.

Getty images Watson and his company are under increased scrutiny after a detailed report from the detailed about a variety of scandals at Ozy Media.| Getty Images

Watson and his company have been under increasing scrutiny since a report by the New York Times detailed a number of controversies at Ozy Media. In the report, an Ozy Media executive is accused of impersonating a YouTube representative during a telephone call with Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs was considering investing in Watson’s company. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating the call.

Ozy Media was founded by Watson in 2013, a former contributor to MSNBC and CNN host. It produces television programs and online articles. The company has received support from many celebrities and investors, including Alex Rodriguez (ex-New York Yankees slugger). Ozy events have seen Mark Cuban and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

CNBC’s Watson spoke next to Ozy chairman Lasry in 2019, telling CNBC that they had become investors after the couple settled their lawsuit. Lasry, a hedge fund manager and co-owner of the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, was named chair of Ozy Media’s board in September.

Watson answered a question about whether Osbournes were investors in Ozy Media. They are now part of the family. CNBC was hosting him to promote Ozy Fest which was to be held in New York. CNBC had been Ozy Fest 2019’s media partner. However, the event was canceled by extreme heat.

Osbourne is a well-known TV personality who stated that her husband and she have never been shareholders of the company. Sharon Osbourne left the daytime talk show “The Talk” this year following a heated conversation on air and an internal investigation.

Jeb Bush and Mark Cuban (L-R), Jeb Bush and Carlos Watson, the CEO and co-founder, speak onstage at OZY FEST 2017. It was held in Rumsey Park on July 22, 2017, New York City.

Bryan Bedder | Getty Images

“We’re not ever, ever a friend, and we don’t have any interest in his company,” Osbourne said in response to Watson’s claims in the CNBC interview. Osbourne responded to a question about Watson’s investment, saying that her and her husband had never invested in Watson’s company. We never invested in any other company.

Osbourne stated that Ozzy Osbourne’s husband has not spoken to or met Carlos Watson. Watson spoke only via the telephone.

Osbourne described Watson as “insane”. Osbourne noted that he offered her shares in the company during the legal fight, but she refused the offer.

He admitted that he had offered her shares of the company but she declined. His reply was, “We have all of this backing.” These billionaires. You know that we could continue to sue you, and I can give some shares. What do you think? How do you respond?

According to Osbourne’s account, Watson tried the same tactics repeatedly during these conversations.

“Then he tells me he’s got billions behind him because his main shareholder of the company is the wife of a guy that died [and ran] Apple,” Osbourne said, referring to Emerson Collective’s Laurene Powell Jobs. Osbourne said that Powell Jobs’ wealth was also an intimidating factor. We have her money. Watson assured Osbourne that she would fight her every step of the way.

Osbourne responded, “But it isn’t right that you’ve stolen the name.”

Watson appeared several times on CNBC, including January, when he joined Ben Smith (New York Times editor) on a panel about the Goldman Sachs Call.

This article was contributed by Dan Mangan, CNBC.