Kelly Osbourne was just 15 when her rock royalty parents let MTV cameras into their home to film a show that would pave the way for reality television and win them an Emmy. With a attitude and style made for TV, Osbourne transcended the show and surname to become a popular presenter on E!’s Fashion Police, under the nurturing wing of Joan Rivers. In her only NZ interview she talks exclusively to Oliver Hall about happiness, homos and the greatest advice Joan ever gave her.
“No one could have guessed how incredibly successful this genre of television would be,” Obsourne tells us as she reflects on the show that first made her famous. “I mean, for f***’s sake I was 15. I just showed up and lived my life with the family, while cameras rolled. And what a wonderful home video I will always have!”
Kelly connected with the audience instantly, leading Rolling Stone to describe her as, “a wickedly funny, brutally honest, pint-size, potty-mouthed spitfire.” But dealing with her new found fame wasn’t easy. As the size-obsessed media scrutinised her weight. Osbourne tried to work out where she wanted her career to go, trying her hand as a pop star and actress. Hailing from a family of addictive personalities it is unsurprising she ended up in rehab three times, before finding her feet as panelist and presenter on Fashion Police.
“I am the happiest now [I’ve ever been] – these last couple of years let me shed the girl that everyone watched on television growing up to become the woman I am today. I have been through hell and back and have managed to build a life for myself that I can be proud of. I worked my ass off to get here and when I turned 30 this past year, I realized I have so much more to do.” She says.
Last year Kelly’s Fashion Week mentor Joan Rivers passed away. “I’ve known Joan since I was 6 years-old. She is my family and there are no words to describe what she meant and will always mean to me,” Osbourne tells us, still referring to Rivers in the present tense.
Rivers left Osbourne with the best advice she has ever been given, ‘to always find a way to laugh’. “If you can’t laugh there’s no point. Joan taught me that… [and] never leave the house without knickers!” Both lessons to live by.
Osbourne believes her greatest achievement is still yet to come. “I think I’ve got a lot more to give. But I will say, making the ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’ list and seeing my clothing line “Stories…” and my mission to make fashion fair, come to life, is a pretty amazing feeling.” On the flipside, regrets are just something Osbourne doesn’t do. “I can’t think about that because if I did, I would always be living in yesterday.” She says.
Outside of her paid work Osbourne has pledged her support for both GLBT and HIV charities, noting the influence her openly gay and HIV positive cousin Terry Longden has had on her. “I have been very lucky personally in my life to have a number of people that have always been my biggest champions and role models. Most of those people have happened to be LGBTQ; a community that has always embraced flaws and quirks and celebrating exactly who you are without apology. I choose to live my life by that motto.” She tells us, adding, “sometimes I wish I could add a ‘K’ for Kelly at the end of the LGBTQ as it is the community where I feel most at home.”
She looks forward to seeing gay marriage become legal in the US where she is based, just as it is in NZ. “I just know I will look back in my old age and laugh that there was ever a time when this was a battle. But until that day, I will never stop fighting the battle of equality and the right to love whomever you want to love.” She says.
Osbourne certainly appreciates a good gay wedding and was lucky enough to attend one of the highest profile the world has thus far seen, when Elton John wed partner David Furnish. “To be a part of that moment was really incredible.”
Next month Osbourne may well get to witness a few more gay ‘unions’ having been named Queen of the White Party 2015 which kicks off the northern hemisphere circuit party season on Friday 24 April in Palm Springs, California. She tells us her job description for the event reads: “make sure that everyone gets off their asses, add another layer of glitter and dance until sunrise.” And she admits to being satisfied with her royal job title. “I’m so used to being called a cunt that being called a queen is refreshing,” she giggles.
If you want to join Kelly and a large group of speedo-clad, gym-buffed gay guys details on the White Party Palm Springs Weekend can be found at www.jeffreysanker.com and www.facebook.com/whitepartyps.
If you would prefer to see her from the comfort of your couch all new Fashion Police featuring new host Cathy Griffin is on E! Tuesdays at 8.30pm.
Article | Oliver Hall.
Photos | Jordon Nuttall.