The Talk’s Elaine Welteroth tells Sharon Osbourne race row was 'set up'

The Talk’s Elaine Welteroth consoles Sharon Osbourne and tells her ‘I know you’re not racist’ moments after the on-air row with Sheryl Underwood in a newly released audio clip.  

The unearthed recording, obtained by Mail Online, hears the presenter apologising to the former X Factor judge and claiming that showrunners had set up the confrontation. 

Sharon quit the daytime talk show in March following the explosive debate with Sheryl as she fiercely defended Piers Morgan over his critique of Meghan Markle after her tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview. 

The programme was taken off the air while an investigation took place, and during that time the presenter left. 

‘Sharon, I’m just so sorry that that went the way that it went,’ Elaine is heard saying. 

‘Do you know what it is though, when you have to sit there and defend yourself? It makes you look guilty because you can’t get out of it,’ Sharon replies, sobbing.

‘It’s like calling somebody a pedophile, you can’t deny it. What do you say?’ 

Elaine continues to console Sharon, and insists their co-stars are also supportive. 

‘I just want you to know, Sharon. Sheryl loves you and respects you so much and had your back behind the scenes. She was not trying to attack you,’ she tells her.  

‘But I also understand when you had a [long night] of trolls f**king attacking you online, that puts you in a position where you have to defend yourself. You feel like you have to defend yourself.  

‘And I know you’re upset. I know it was terrible, but I just hope that once this blows over that you know Sheryl is your friend. She really is your friend. 

‘She doesn’t think you’re racist. I don’t think you’re racist. No one who knows you would ever say that or think that.’  

Elsewhere in the clip, Elaine claims that showrunners had orchestrated the row by instructing Sheryl to ask Sharon: ‘What would you say to people who may feel that, while you’re standing by your friend, it appears that you gave validation or safe haven to something that he has uttered that is racist, even if you don’t agree?’  

‘They literally made her ask that question,’ Elaine says to Sharon. ‘And I thought that she was setting it up in way so that you knew … I assumed that you guys had had a pre-conversation so that you were on the same page.’   

‘No! No! No!’ Sharon retorts.  

The audio recording comes days after CBS that Jerry O’Connell would be joining Welteroth, Amanda Kloots, and Sheryl Underwood on The Talk as Osbourne’s replacement.  

During her clash with Sheryl, Sharon became emotional in her defence of her friend Piers, saying that she felt she was being ‘put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is racist’. 

She then asked Sheryl to ‘educate’ her on ‘when you have heard him say racist things’, while Sheryl calmly responded: ‘It is not the exact words of racism, it’s the implication and the reaction to it.’ 

Sharon issued an apology for her conduct during the discussion with Sheryl, saying that she ‘panicked’ and got ‘defensive’ when she thought she was being accused of being racist. 

‘To anyone of colour that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry,’ she wrote. 

Metro.co.uk has contacted CBS for comment. 

The Talk airs daily on CBS. 

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