Speaking for the first time about his son’s battle with an addiction to OxyContin, Ozzy Osbourne acknowledged parental mistakes and expressed regret for having given his children so much freedom.
“The mistake that Sharon and I both made, and we both agree on this, is we never set any boundaries,” the Osbourne patriarch told MTV News, addressing his son Jack’s recent stint in rehab. “We never said, ‘You must be in the house by a certain time.’ We just let them have the freedom. Sharon and I are still learning. We’re not the parents that say, ‘We’re always right,’ because we’re not.”
Both Ozzy and Jack spoke frankly for the first time about the battle Jack now faces for an “MTV News Now” special report, premiering Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET/PT (Jack’s complete interview will appear on MTVNews.com when the show premieres). The show will be followed the next day by a repeat of MTV News’ “True Life: I’m Hooked on OxyContin” at 6:30 p.m.
Jack checked himself into Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, California, earlier this year for what was later learned to be an addiction to the dangerous painkiller OxyContin. The Food and Drug Administration has warned that the prescription medication can be as addictive as morphine, can cause respiratory problems, and can be fatal when crushed and snorted or chewed.
For Ozzy, who said he has tried to keep an open dialog with his children, the news of Jack’s involvement with such a dangerous substance came as a shock. “One thing I noticed is that he never cried,” Ozzy said. “He never showed. He just locked it in, you know. I think what families should do more often is have family meetings and talk: get around the table and say, ‘What’s up? How you doing?’ Every day I say to my family, ‘I love you,’ you know. And I do love my family. People forget to say ‘I love you. I care for you. Are you OK? Is there anything you need?’ ”
In Jack’s case, though, the words fell on deaf ears, and there was almost no way for his parents to see his addiction coming. “There was the Jack Osbourne my parents knew, the Jack Osbourne my friends knew and the Jack Osbourne that the public knew,” Jack explained. “The one my parents knew was the funny, facetious, nice, loving son who’s truly caring. To my friends I was a crazy, insane, drinking, using party animal who knew how to have a good time. And the public one was, well, the one they wanted to vote out of the house.”
We’ll have much more from our interviews with Jack and Ozzy as well as more on the dangers of OxyContin abuse in the days leading up to our Jack Osbourne “MTV News Now” special report.