In an interview Jack Osbourne gave MTV a few years ago, he actually said those words. “I had a fairly normal childhood.” Perhaps since then, things have come into clearer focus for him…let’s hope so. While I do believe that he comes from a very loving family, there is no way in the world that they are the LEAST bit normal. (Then again…who IS I suppose?)
Jack was born in England 27 years ago to the “Prince of Darkness”, Black Sabbath lead vocalist, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, who managed rock bands. Sharon and Ozzy moved the family back and forth from England to the U.S continually for the first 10-11 years of Jack’s life. Moving so many times, from L.A. to Buckinghamshire and then back to Beverly Hills and then back to St. John’s Wood and then back to Beverly Hills, made it tough on the kids to do well in school. Especially Jack…who was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was eight and with having ADD at the age of ten. Meanwhile, his father was a loose cannon who continued to tour and make songs like, “Crazy Train”, “Paranoid”, “Let Me Hear You Scream” and “Diary of a Madman.” Not the most stable of influences.
Parental guidance was there..some what, but Jack was allowed to do many things before he was emotionally prepared for them. At 13-14, Jack was working an internship at Virgin Records and later started scouting for Epic Records. He also helped his mother manage his father’s annual touring festival, Ozzfest. He says that he never really hung around with people his own age…always with adults and mostly those connected with the entertainment industry. By the time he was 14, he was drinking and drugging heavily. ( Gee…I couldn’t see that coming! ) He says, “I think I should have died four times…I was depressed and out of control. My Mum was like, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong” And I would say “I need help” and she was really sick at the time fighting cancer, so she really had to focus on herself, you know?…she was just trying to survive. And Dad was just an emotional wreck. He was drinking a lot of the time , he was smoking a lot of pot. And because he takes certain medications, the drinking was making him…you know… He wasn’t really even present, really.” When he was 17, Jack’s mother was recovering, had found her strength and forced him into treatment. He was admitted to a child psychiatric ward for an addiction to Oxycontin. He told MTV,” It was interesting, because when I was in rehab I wasn’t Jack Osbourne, Ozzy and Sharon’s son…I was a normal 17-year-old kid who had problems like everyone else there. It was great. I got to be who I was and made friends my own age.” Sharon also got Ozzy back into rehab and Ozzy began the long road of on again, off again, rehabilitation. For Jack though, it seemed he had turned a corner.
He became obsessed with fitness and with challenging his own endurance. He desperately wanted to carve out his own niche away from the Rock and Roll Life. He has been a fitness and travel reporter for the Travel Channel, as well as starring in Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junkie, which ran for four seasons. On the show, Jack climbed El Capitan, competed in serious boxing matches and did solo treks through the Bolivian Jungle.
Jack married his wife, Lisa, in April of 2012. They have one daughter, Pearl, and Lisa was pregnant with their son when she lost the baby just a few weeks ago and at a very late stage. Understandably, the family has been devastated. The loss took place right as Jack was beginning rehearsal for DWTS…so perhaps the distraction has been good for him, although it must have been hard for him to be away from Lisa.
Prior to that, in 2012, Jack was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. He says he has experienced symptoms for years…like blindness in one eye and trouble with his bladder, bowel and stomach. He takes medication daily now and says he has had to make some life style changes, like eating differently and reducing stress. For him to compete on DTWS is, much like Valerie Harper, a sheer act of bravery and a testament to being alive and living life to the fullest. His doctors have urged him to “stop participating in highly intensive physical workouts”…and Jack has spoken about fearing a “rapid decline.” But his desire to shine light on the sufferers of MS and the need for more research far outweighs the risks he feels he’s taking. “It’s a hell of a disease and it really doesn’t end pretty so I want people to donate time and money to help fight this thing.”
But for right now, he says he looks forward to surpassing his sister Kelly, who went through a major metamorphosis from Goth to Glam when she was on the show five years ago. Kelly made it all the way to 3rd place…when no one originally gave her a chance. Will Jack be able to do better than his sister did? Only time will tell…but you just know that he will give it everything he has. Normal childhood? No. Impressive adult? Absolutely.