The love story of pop’s wackiest couple



They could have been anyone having a quiet celebration," said the manager afterwards, but they weren't. Elderly hell-raisers Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne weren't only celebrating three decades of marriage, but something else, too. They were back together after two months in separate houses after the 64-year-old rocker had once more become hooked on drugs and alcohol after more than a decade on the waggon.

Not only had Ozzy claimed to have beaten his demons and turned over a new leaf but posted a public apology on Facebook after Sharon, 60, had threatened divorce if he didn't mend his ways.

"Sharon has kept the marriage together — she's the only person Ozzy will listen to," says a long-time family friend of the highest-paid family in TV history.

"She gives the impression of being hard and ambitious but she adores Ozzy and he her. So long as they're together they'll be OK, whatever the odds." Insiders say it was only when Sharon was convinced that Ozzy was back on the straight and narrow that she agreed to return to the judging panel of the UK's hit reality show the X Factor.

She has left her family and 16 dogs and her $10 million mansion in Hollywood's Hidden Hills to help "make the show interesting again!"

She says that Ozzy is "no good on his own, but I've left him with enough full-time carers to staff an old folks' home!"  The unlikely marriage is regularly rocked by crisis — as when the heavy metal star crashed his quad bike in the grounds of their mansion in Buckinghamshire, England, suffering such horrific injuries that for a while it was feared he wouldn't live.

But he is now almost completely recovered — thanks to Sharon's devoted round-the-clock nursing.

"It's a miracle he survived," Sharon says. "They say that if the bike had just been a fraction more on his neck he would either have been dead or in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. "He's a terrible patient. But I can put up with that — so long as I've still got him!"

Sharon says that no one thought their marriage would survive. "People were taking bets on how many months we would last, and here we are all those years later and happier than ever," Sharon says.

Now, despite his drink and drug problems, Ozzy, whose income is reckoned at $50 million a year, is back in the big-time. He has a new single, a new album and a tour with his Black Sabbath group.

 There is also talk of the Osbourne family making another of their outrageous fly-on-the wall documentaries which became compulsive viewing around the world. Ozzy admits that the real star of the show is Sharon, who went on to become the pundit fans love to hate in reality television shows like Pop Idol and The X-Factor.

It was Sharon, who was seen screaming and shouting at the neighbours and coping with the couple's hordes of untrained pets, who masterminded the series.

"To be honest, we enjoyed  every minute of it," Ozzy says "In real life we're exactly as we are on TV".

It's all a far cry from the days when the outrageous Ozzy was firmly on the other side of the law — as the world's most inept burglar, he landed up in jail for three months after using fingerless gloves!

Deciding music would be more lucrative than crime, he formed the Black Sabbath heavy metal band before being fired at the height of its success in 1978 and spiralled into an oblivion of drink and drugs.

He was rescued by his manager and soon to be his wife, Sharon Arden, daughter of rock impresario Don Arden, who single-handedly was to turn Ozzy into Heavy Metal's biggest and most controversial star. His first two albums as a solo star — Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, were to become multi-million sellers and enabled Ozzy and his family to enjoy millionaire lifestyles in their mansions in Beverly Hills and England's Buckinghamshire.

Until recently, Ozzy appeared to have given up drink and he and Sharon lived a largely tranquil life both in Hollywood and on their massive English country estate with coats of arms on the toilets and herds of deer in the park.

It was 18 months ago that Ozzy began to drink again. "There were massive rows and Sharon threw him out. But as always she's taken him back," says a friend. "She's just hoping that he's learned his lesson. He relies on her absolutely."

A shrewd businesswoman, Sharon controls a music empire worth around $150 million based around Ozzy. His albums still have a huge cult following and his US pop festival, Ozzfest is a sell-out every year.
          
Friends say that now the tempestuous marriage is at the crossroads. Ozzy is attending AA meetings and trying to convince Sharon that he really can turn over a new leaf.

"He'll probably go on being  lucky," says one. "Only recently Sharon said that although life with Ozzy can be hell, it would be even worse without him..." 

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