Sharon Osbourne says she briefly left Ozzy. She says they separated for a few days this spring when he fell off the wagon

By Gary Susman
Updated September 11, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

At the end of last year, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne threw a big party to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Months later, however, with both her husband and her son succumbing to drug and alcohol addictions, Sharon briefly separated from Ozzy, she tells Barbara Walters. In an interview airing Friday on ABC’s ”20/20,” Sharon says that, while waiting this spring for a rehab bed to open up for 17-year-old Jack, Ozzy fell off the wagon himself and started drinking and taking pills. ”I just said, ‘You just have to stop,’ and he didn’t. And I said, ‘Well then, I’m going.’ And I packed my bags, and I left,” she says.

The separation didn’t last long. She says, ”The minute I left, the next morning, he gave up drinking. But I needed to make sure that he was on a roll. That he really meant it. And, after four days, I came back to see him. And he was trying so hard. So hard. Still is clean and sober.”

Jack tells Walters his drug problem, for which he spent two months in rehab, was more serious than he’d let on during Walters’ interview with the Osbournes last year at the height of their MTV reality show’s success. Talking to Walters then, Jack admitted only to the occasional puff of marijuana. In fact, he was addicted to alcohol and painkillers and even tried to commit suicide in his despondence over his mother’s cancer diagnosis. ”I attempted to overdose,” he says now. ”Take a whole bunch of pills and drink some absinthe.” Fortunately, he did not succeed, and his mother’s cancer went into remission. Sharon, 50, is apparently in good health today; her syndicated daytime talk show debuts on Sept. 15.