cover

CONTENTS

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About the Book

About the Author

Praise

Title Page

Dedication

CHAPTER ONE: Turning Thirteen

CHAPTER TWO: Being An Osbourne

CHAPTER THREE: I Love A Good School Project

CHAPTER FOUR: Becoming Americanised

CHAPTER FIVE: Beauty – You’ll Have Your Day

CHAPTER SIX: I Wish I’d Waited

CHAPTER SEVEN: The Lesser Of My Vices

CHAPTER EIGHT: Vicodin

CHAPTER NINE: The Osbournes

CHAPTER TEN: Eating My Feelings

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Trying To Be Strong

CHAPTER TWELVE: Noddy

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: No Vacation

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Club Kitchen

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: A Turning Point

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Falling In Love With Fashion

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: My Biggest Lesson

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: Dancing With The Stars

Advice

Acknowledgements

Copyright

About the Book

This no-holds-barred account of Kelly Obsourne’s upbringing is as shocking as it is disarmingly funny. From stories about her father’s alcoholism to pushing over portaloos on tour, Kelly unflinchingly deals with the extraordinary experiences that have made up her life so far.

About the Author

Following the Emmy Award-winning The Osbournes, Kelly Osbourne has gone on to make a serious name for herself in the worlds of television, radio, musical theatre and fashion. She received rave reviews in 2007 for Chicago and later that year was nominated for a prestigious Sony Award after starting her radio slot on The Surgery. Kelly’s TV presenting work includes co-hosting the Brit Awards, and her recording career includes a half-million selling No.1 single.

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I would like to dedicate this book to every young woman who’s ever felt lost

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CHAPTER ONE

TURNING THIRTEEN

Parents are parents whether your father is a bank manager or a gardener. I found my dad embarrassing all the time.

TURNING THIRTEEN IS the start of one of the hardest times of your entire life. It really is. You don’t know who you are. You’ve got all these people telling you what’s cool and what’s not. There are just far too many influences in your life.

I had no idea what lay ahead when I celebrated my thirteenth birthday on 27 October 1997.

I expected that my life was going to change. Becoming a teenager was a big deal for me and I’d been looking forward to it. We were living at Welders. It’s our family home in Buckinghamshire and it’s where my parents live now when they’re in the UK. Even though I’ve got my own home in London, Welders is the one place in the world where I feel really safe. I love that house so much. The special effects guy from Star Wars owned it before us. When I’m there I have the best night’s sleep. Welders is hidden away on a leafy road. You’d quite easily drive past it if you didn’t know it was there.

It’s probably not what you’d expect from our family, but it’s homely and traditional. Mum’s Mini Cooper sits outside and as soon as I open the door I know I’m home. Mum’s put a lot of work into making it a family home and I see it as being really cosy. It’s not a fancy house.

We’ve all made my mum and dad promise us they’ll never sell it because it holds so many dear memories for all of us. It’s surrounded by fields as far as the eye can see, full of deer and rabbits. When I look out of my bedroom window I feel so happy. My bedroom is still exactly the same as it was when we first moved there when I was nine. It’s on the top floor, between my younger brother Jack’s and my older sister Aimee’s rooms.

My bedroom is girly. I wanted to be one of the boys, but deep down I secretly loved dolls and dresses. I really loved Peter Pan, but not in a Michael Jackson sort of way. My mum got a man to come in and paint a fairytale mural. It covers every wall with a huge beanstalk painted on one side. My whole family are characters painted on the walls too: there’s me, my uncle Tony, who’s not my real uncle but might as well be, my mum, dad, Jack and Aimee. I sat there on the floor among the paints, telling him exactly what to do.

My bathroom is pink and green. It still has the sponges spelling out my name sitting above the bath. I’ve never changed it. As a kid I was such a tomboy. I was obsessed with frogs. I really fucking loved frogs. My mum used to always go out and buy frog things for me. I don’t know where she got them all from.

And there’s a piece of Windsor Castle that I collected once, during a visit, in a cup sitting on top of the toilet. On the floor below, there’s another bedroom I sometimes sleep in that’s known as the Marilyn Monroe room with black and white pictures of her on the wall. I just think she embodies everything beauty is about. That woman died before her time. Every woman wishes they were like Marilyn – I do.

If you were to visit the house now, it’s like we just picked up our stuff and left all those years ago when we moved to America not long after my thirteenth birthday. Everything is still in the same place, like our uniforms, games, clothes, toys – everything!

Outside our bedroom doors, the length of the landing, are white cupboards where my mum would keep our school uniforms and weekend clothes. My mum was always really concerned about our safety, and she had panic rooms built in the house in case intruders – who she referred to as the ‘bad men’ broke in. The panic room was an area we could go to where we would be safe. It wasn’t until we were older that we realised the people she was trying to protect us from were her father, my grandfather, Don Arden and his unsavoury entourage. My parents had a baseball bat by the side of their bed ready in case anyone broke in. And there was a knife under their mattress for a long time too.

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WELDERS HAS ALWAYS been a great home for a party. On my thirteenth birthday I had a fancy-dress-themed party. My birthday is near Halloween so that would happen a lot. Everyone was invited. There were kids and adults and it was noisy and fun. I was excited.

I was a young thirteen. I mean, people in America still ID-check me now and I’m in my mid-twenties for fuck’s sake. For the fancy dress, I wore a red wig, black Doc Marten boots, a black dress and white wings. I don’t know what the fuck I was. I just thought I looked cool.

Gay cousin Terry’s boyfriend came as Prince Charming and Mum dressed up as a nun. My mum, a bloody nun! Jack really didn’t bother. He was wearing camouflage gear and a green baseball cap turned backwards. He was twelve and only interested in running around with the boys and singing on the karaoke machine. He stood there in his cute glasses clutching the microphone. I was so fucking jealous of those glasses because they made him look clever.

My dad wasn’t on tour so it was one of the rare occasions he was there for my party, which made it even more fun. He kept popping in and out of the big tent that was in the garden at Welders, where the party was. It was huge and had a black dance floor. All my friends were there, including my best friends Fleur and Sammy. They’re still my best friends today.

My mum knows how to throw a good party; it’s her thing. She’d got in party organisers and caterers. There were balloons everywhere, kids running around and adults hanging out. There was a bloody DJ standing behind the decks playing requests.

As a kid, I used to be obsessed with this party entertainer called Ally Doolally: The Egyptian Magician. I’m not joking when I say I used to have him at every single birthday party. He always wore a brightly coloured turban and a gold genie outfit with a flowing cloak.

 

‘He was just standing

there in his underwear and

a military hat he’d found

somewhere in the house,

then he started chasing everyone

around singing the Backstreet Boys song

“Everybody”.’

 

Ally was there, as usual, in the kitchen. It’s open-plan and decorated in a very country cottage sort of way with a lounge area to one side and my dad’s gym through into a back room. Ally – God, I loved him – did the best tricks and it was a really fun party.

And then Dad just kind of appeared from nowhere. He was absolutely shit-faced. Drunk. I’m talking really, really drunk. He was just standing there in his underwear and a military hat he’d found somewhere in the house, then he started chasing everyone around singing the Backstreet Boys song ‘Everybody’.

At this point, I had a question. How the fuck did my dad know the words to that song? Fuck knows. But all my friends were screaming and running around the house. It was plain crazy. It was fucking fun. I mean, do I look like someone who’d have a normal birthday party?

One time, Dad dressed up as a werewolf at one of my parties, locked me and my friends up in the garden shed and then chased us all when we got out. My mum had to call everyone’s parents because all the kids were crying and they all got collected and taken home.

People have often said to me, ‘Oh it must have been so cool when you were growing up to have Ozzy Osbourne as your father.’ People seem to think that because he’s famous it means I never used to get embarrassed. But that’s bullshit. Parents are parents whether your father is a bank manager or a gardener. I found my dad embarrassing all the time. All dads are embarrasing and (this might sound patronising but…) what I found humiliating then, I laugh about now – and you will too.

LATER THAT EVENING, when my friends had all gone home, me and Jack went upstairs to check up on my dad. He had passed out on the bed, but our ex-nanny, who’d just come back for my party, was crawling on my parents’ bedroom carpet on her hands and knees towards him saying, in this husky voice, ‘Ozzy, I know you’ve always really wanted me.’ She wanted to fuck him! Have you ever heard anything like it? My dad was oblivious – he’d passed out.

I think it was my uncle Tony who put her to bed. He’s been my father’s assistant since he was a teenager, when he used to follow Black Sabbath around.

While the nanny lay there out of it because she’d drunk too much, me and Jack began smearing Pedigree Chum dog food on her. Then we got bags of flour, an opened tin of baked beans and brown sauce that we’d taken from the kitchen and poured it all over her. My mum helped us. We were pissing ourselves laughing. Then Jack and I put cling film over the toilet seat so that if she needed to throw up during the night it’d go all over her too. She’s known as ‘the nanny who tried to fuck my dad’.

It never struck me at the time that it wasn’t actually a normal thirteen-year-old’s birthday party because it had an equal mix of adults and kids. And I was kind of hanging out with both of them. All the adults were going, ‘Oh it’s Ozzy, isn’t he funny?’ And so I convinced myself it was OK to think, ‘Oh, Dad, aren’t you funny?’

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MY DAD IS a big kid, really. He’d always be coming out with the most crazy sayings like, ‘Kelly, every action has a reaction.’ Or another favourite was, ‘You play. You pay.’ As fucked up as he was at times, I count myself lucky to have my dad. There is only one Ozzy Osbourne.

Was I surprised that Dad had embarrassed me? No. I was used to it. It’s the story of my life. Parents are there to embarrass you in front of your friends. My mum and dad have taken full advantage of this so-called ‘privilege’, I can tell you. I associate most major things that happened in my childhood and teenage years with being embarrassed by something my mum or dad have done.

I once suffered two major embarrassments in the space of two weeks! There was one time I’d come home from school one day and my mum had been to her favourite shop, Marks & Spencer. She’d left a pack of new knickers on my bed. I was so excited because I’d wanted these knickers for ages. They were really cute and had the days of the week written on the front. All the girls at school had them.

The next day I put a pair on. That night I brought all my friends back home from school and I was standing in the hallway. I bent down to put an exercise book in my backpack when my dad suddenly bellowed, ‘You’re wearing a throng? A throng, Kelly?’ He literally made me jump out of my skin.

The thing was, my mum had accidentally bought me a pack of thongs instead of sensible knickers. I’d never worn a thong before so I thought I’d give walking around with a piece of string stuck up my arse a go. But my dad wasn’t having any of it and he wouldn’t let it go. In the hallway of our family home in front of a whole bunch of my best friends, including Sammy and Fleur, he paced up and down saying, ‘A throng? No daughter of mine will ever wear a throng – throngs are for whores.’

I was saying to him through my clenched teeth, ‘Dad, shut up. You’re embarrassing me.’ But my dad proceeded to march me down the hallway and into the kitchen, and pinned me to the flowery sofa after grabbing a pair of black scissors from the kitchen drawer. To my utter embarrassment, he cut off my thong in front of my school friends. They were all standing there, huddled around the doorway, in complete silence with their mouths wide open.

This piece of material, no bigger than a string of dental floss, was yanked out of the top of my school jeans and thrown into the air. I died of embarrassment and burst into tears.

My mum, who was no good to me whatsoever, was standing hunched over the kitchen sink laughing her head off while screeching, ‘Ozzy! No!’

My friends were in fucking shock. Come to think of it, so was I. I was absolutely hysterical and went from laughing to crying.

My dad was standing there in the family kitchen with my thong (I can’t recall what day of the week it represented) in his hand; he tossed it over his shoulder and let it land on the kitchen floor.

That was my first experience of wearing a thong. It was my last for a long time too. It scared me off for life.

 

‘Jack and I would always

go to the Woolworths on the

high street after we’d left school and

pose for photos

in the tiny booth together.

 

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IT WASN’T JUST my father who enjoyed embarrassing me when I was growing up.

My mum would have a good go too. The Saturday after my dad had ripped the thong from my arse, my mum and Aimee had planned a trip to Marks & Spencer.

I was nine and I thought we were going to buy me a new pair of elasticated-waist jeans. They were my favourite style of jeans and I thought I looked so fucking cool when I wore them.

The nearest Marks & Spencer to Welders is in High Wycombe. It’s where Mum bought most of our clothes when we were growing up. High Wycombe is a small town twenty-nine miles outside of London but it was the centre of my world when I was growing up. It had all the shops that we loved to spend our five-pounds-a-week pocket money in.

Jack and I would always go to the Woolworths on the High Street after we’d left school and pose for photos in the tiny booth together. Jack would pull faces and I’d cry.

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On this particular Saturday, my mum drove me and Aimee and we parked in the town centre. We walked into M&S and that distinct homely smell hit our faces as we stepped out of the cold. I headed straight to the kids’ clothes section to check out the new jeans. Then my mum, with Aimee standing next to her, piped up across the shop floor, ‘Kelly, just come over here for a second. This lady wants to measure you for something.’ It was really busy and everyone looked up when my mum shouted across the shop. I walked over and this woman whipped out this yellow tape measure and wrapped it around my chest over my T-shirt, right in the middle of the shop. Everyone was peering from behind the bras and knickers, looking at me. Mum was standing behind the woman, giggling with Aimee. I realised it was a ‘Mum & Aimee’ plot. I wasn’t in M&S to buy a new pair of jeans at all.

Then the shop assistant announced to the entire shop that my bra size was something ridiculously small like a 28AAA and I’m looking at my mum thinking, ‘What the hell are you doing to me?’ Mum bought me this flimsy white bra with a flower on it. I really couldn’t see the point of it.

BACK AT HOME in my bedroom – minus the elasticated jeans – my new bra seemed so complicated to fasten. I wriggled about and finally managed to do it up while standing in my bedroom in front of the mirror. I was praying Jack didn’t barge in. I decided I really didn’t like wearing a bra. It dug in and was really fucking uncomfortable.

I was the biggest tomboy you could ever meet and a bra just didn’t go with my image. It definitely didn’t go with Jack’s T-shirts with Ghostbusters on the front that I liked to wear. I was mortified about it. Jack and I regularly shared clothes. I lived in jeans, T-shirts and a bright red fleece jacket. I didn’t want my little brother Jack to find out about the bra because he really would take the piss. He would probably tell my dad too, which would be even more embarrassing.

I decided to put on my new bra on Monday to keep my mum happy. I felt so bloody self-conscious. It felt like the whole world could see it under my school jumper. As soon as I got to school, I took it off in the toilets and stuffed it in my backpack. None of my friends had a bra. I seemed to grow tits before everyone else. Now I don’t seem to have them. How fucking typical.

On the first day I was brave enough to wear it all day, Jack came marching up to me as I stood with all my friends. He proudly pinged the bra strap and stood back pissing himself laughing. Everyone instantly knew that Kelly Osbourne had a bra on. Yeah thanks, Jack.

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