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The Talk’s Elaine Welteroth is setting the record straight after a private conversation she had consoling her former co-host Sharon Osbourne leaked to the public. In the recording, Welteroth can be heard trying to ease an emotional Osbourne following her heated exchange with castmate Sheryl Underwood who disagreed with the wife of Ozzy Osbourne for siding with her “friend” Piers Morgan in the wake of his controversial statements about Meghan Markle back in March.

“I thought we had closed the painful, public chapter of the controversy related to the March 10th show,” Welteroth explained in a statement to  Entertainment Tonight. “Today, however, I learned that my private comments made moments after the incident from a place of compassion to a then-colleague (the most senior level co-host on The Talk) were recorded —without my consent or knowledge—and shared with the media.”

In the leaked phone audio, the former Teen Vogue editor in chief can be heard explaining to Osbourne that the show’s execs asked her to initiate the uncomfortable question surrounding Piers Morgan.

“They asked me to ask that question. I said, ‘No I’m not going to ask that question. I said, ‘Wait, what’s the intention of this conversation? Because this can go left so fast. … I said to them, ‘This is going to be a train wreck.’”

“Sharon I’m just so sorry that went the way that it went,” Welteroth added as Osbourne replied, “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.”

Later on in the recording, Welteroth tries to reassure the 68-year-old TV host that no one on the show’s team believed she was racist and that Sheryl was still seeking to reconcile and make amends. 

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“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 feed that,” Welteroth says.

Osbourne responds: “But why couldn’t she have said, ‘I’ve known you for 11 years, I know you are not racist,’ instead of ‘I don’t think you are, no, I know you aren’t.’ There’s a huge difference.”

Welteroth said elsewhere in her statement to ET while she’s no stranger to having “tough conversations” on the show, that she won’t be “vilified for telling the truth on or off-air.” The journalist added that she felt like the leaked audio was an attempt to “weaponize” her comments and that she’s “disheartened” her private moment with Osbourne was taken out of context.

“To set the record straight, it was not a hot mic — I was unlawfully recorded without consent. And I never filed a complaint with HR against Sharon Osbourne or anyone else. I am disheartened, however, that my kindness has been taken out of context and weaponized in an attempt to absolve responsibility for someone else’s actions,” she clarified.

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Elaine Welteroth Clears Up Leaked Audio With Sharon Osbourne ‘I Will Not Be Vilified’  was originally published on