Sharon Osbourne says Ounces Media founder Carlos Watson lied about investing
Two years ago, Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of Ozy Media, told CNBC during a live television broadcast that he was befriended by heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, music industry manager and former talk show host Sharon Osbourne and have invested in his company after a lawsuit.
“Fun fact: our friends Ozzy and Sharon briefly sued us and then we decided to become friends and now they’re investors in Ozy,” Watson said on CNBC at the time. (You can check out the video above.)
None of this turned out to be true, according to Sharon Osbourne, who spoke to CNBC on Thursday when hedge fund chief Marc Lasry stepped down as chairman of Ozy Media.
Lasry’s resignation and Sharon Osbourne’s exposure came days after the New York Times reported that an Ozy executive posed as a YouTube official on a phone call to Goldman Sachs in February about a possible $ 40 million investment. In addition to Lasry’s resignation, veteran journalist Katty Kay has resigned from Ozy Media and investor SV Angel has decided to give up its stake in the company.
“This guy is the biggest Shyster I’ve ever seen in my life,” Osbourne said, referring to Watson, shortly after CNBC took her call. Osbourne said she checked Watson’s claim after CNBC contacted her team with the details amid the various controversies surrounding Ozy Media.
The Osbournes filed a trademark lawsuit in 2017 over the name Ozy Fest, Ozy Media’s annual concert and festival. The Osbournes had produced a metal music festival called Ozzfest for years, which featured acts such as Ozzy Osbourne’s original band Black Sabbath, Tool and Slayer.
Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne announce that Ozzfest 2007 will be free. The announcement was made during a press conference at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California on February 6, 2007.
Jason Merritt / TERM | FilmMagic | Getty Images
Sharon Osbourne told CNBC that Watson tried to intimidate her amid the lawsuit filed.
Osbourne said the two sides came to an agreement after the couple paid around $ 300,000 in legal fees over the trademark dispute between Ozy Media and the Osbournes company.
The Wrap reports that court documents filed against Ozy Media at the time claim that Ozy Fest’s brands are “almost identical to MLC’s in appearance, sound, connotation and commercial impact.” [Monowise Limited Corp.] well-known Ozzfest sign. “
Court documents state that the settlement came about in 2018. Osbourne shared the details of the deal with CNBC.
“He couldn’t have the kind of artists that we have on our bill,” Osbourne said, referring to Watson. “So he couldn’t have rock artists or alternative artists on his bill. Because he started taking on rap artists and we had a couple of rap artists. So he had to approve the bills with me and he had to approve the advertising with me. “
An Ozy Media spokesperson did not return repeated emails asking for comments on Osbourne’s remarks.
Carlos Watson speaks on stage during HISTORYTalks Leadership & Legacy presented by HISTORY at Carnegie Hall on February 29, 2020 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
Watson and his company have come under increasing scrutiny since a New York Times report listed a series of controversies at Ozy Media. The report describes a case in which an Ozy Media executive, while on the phone with Goldman Sachs, allegedly posed as a YouTube agent who was considering an investment in Watson’s company. The FBI allegedly started investigating the call.
In a tweet on Monday, Watson called the Times article a “hit job.” He hasn’t tweeted since then.
Watson, a former MSNBC contributor and CNN presenter, founded Ozy Media in 2013. The company produces online articles and television programs. It has received support from several notable investors and celebrities, including former New York Yankees thug Alex Rodriguez. Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Mark Cuban have performed at Ozy Fest events.
In 2019, while sitting next to Ozy investor and his eventual chairman Lasry, Watson told CNBC that after the dispute with the star couple was resolved, they became investors in his business. Lasry, a hedge fund manager and co-owner of NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, was named chairman of the board of Ozy Media in September.
When asked if the Osbournes invested in Ozy, Watson said, “Now they’re investors. They’re part of the family.” He appeared on CNBC to promote the Ozy Fest, which was due to be held in New York at the time. CNBC was media partner for Ozy Fest 2019, which was canceled due to extreme heat.
Osbourne, herself a longtime television personality, said that neither she nor her husband were ever shareholders in the company. Sharon Osbourne left The Talk that year after a heated discussion on the air and an internal investigation.
(LR) Samantha Bee, Mark Cuban, CEO and Co-Founder Carlos Watson, and Jeb Bush speak on stage during OZY FEST 2017 presented by OZY.com at Rumsey Playfield on July 22, 2017 in New York City.
Bryan Bedder | Getty Images
“We are never, never a friend, and we have no interest in his company,” Osbourne said in response to Watson’s allegations in an interview with CNBC. When asked if she and her husband ever invested in Watson’s company, Osbourne said, “You must be kidding. There is no way we have invested in anything.”
Osbourne said her husband Ozzy Osbourne had never spoken to Carlos Watson or met while she and Watson only spoke on the phone.
“He’s crazy,” Osbourne said of Watson. She noted that he had offered her shares in the company during the lawsuit, but she declined.
“To be honest, he said, ‘Well, we’re giving you shares in the company, but I said,’ Your company is worthless. ‘ He said, “We have all of this support. All these billionaires. And you know we can keep suing you and I can give you some shares. “But I’m like, ‘Part of what? What are you doing?'”
Watson, Osbourne said, tried this tactic over and over again during the talks.
“Then he tells me that he has billions behind him because his main shareholder in the company is the wife of a deceased man.” [and ran] Apple, “Osbourne said, referring to Emerson Collective’s Laurene Powell Jobs. Osbourne also used the wealth of Powell Jobs as an intimidation factor.” We’ve got their money behind us. I’ll fight you all the way, “Osbourne said, Watson told her.
“I think, ‘But it is not right that you stole that name,'” said Osbourne.
Watson has appeared on CNBC several times, including this January when he was on a panel with Ben Smith, the editor of the New York Times, who published the story of the Goldman Sachs call over the weekend.
– CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this article.