Sharon Osbourne claims her husband Ozzy Osbourne was being "blackmailed" by AEG Live CEO Jay Marciano.
Sharon, Ozzy's manager and wife of 35 years, claims Marciano was trying to leverage a dispute between AEG and Live Nation to force Ozzy to perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on his upcoming No More Tours 2 farewell tour.
In an email, shared Thursday with Billboard, Sharon took Marciano to task for sending a contract that allegedly obligated Ozzy to perform at Staples Center if he took a booking at the O2 Arena in London.
"Shame on AEG for bringing artists into a power struggle [AEG is] having with [its] competition, Live Nation," Sharon wrote. "I can assure you that Live Nation would never strong-arm and artist into playing a venue they're not comfortable performing in."
AEG and Live Nation have been feuding since last year, when Live Nation began block-booking venues, effectively forcing artists to appear at only Live Nation rooms. The action meant that if a band wanted to book the L.A. Forum, they would also have to book Madison Square Garden, etc.
AEG responded by doing the same thing.
Eventually, Live Nation said it ended the practice, but Marciano and AEG said that was untrue. Live Nation U.K. then threatened to sue AEG.
Sharon says Ozzy has been caught in the middle of the "childish playground tactics" and she won't tolerate it.
"This is a staggering attempt to blackmail OZZY into playing your venue in Los Angeles," she said in her note to AEG's Marciano. "It is also a complete abuse of bargaining power and not conducive to a free market. If you do not confirm the date for OZZY at the O2 in London then I will be forced to take legal action against AEG Live! without delay."
Marciano responded to Sharon's note, thanking her for it and saying the dispute is only between The Forum and Staples Center, adding "we couldn't agree with you more — it should always be the artist's choice. We long for the days when artists and fans came first."
At the moment, Ozzy's only Los Angeles tour date is at the Hollywood Bowl, a Live Nation venue.
You can get all of Ozzy's tour dates here.
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