''Everything when you are a kid affects you in later life,'' says Ozzy Osbourne, in a revealing interview published in Monday's edition of London's Daily Mirror. ''If you build a wall with rocky foundations you are going to have a pretty unstable wall when it's finished.'' Referring to his own traumatic childhood, the rocker talks in detail about how he was repeatedly sexually abused by school bullies when he was an 11-year-old in Birmingham.
''Two boys used to wait for me to come home after school. Then they would f--- around with me. They didn't f--- me but they messed around with me,'' he said. ''They would force me to drop my pants and all that s--- They felt me and touched me and... it was terrible. The first time it happened was in front of my sister and that affected me even more. It became a regular thing on the way home from school. It seemed to go on forever.''
The abuse compounded the trauma of growing up poor in a family of eight, where his parents were always fighting about money, he said. ''I was afraid to tell my father or mother and it completely f---ed me up. Dirty little secrets fester and that is one of the first things I said to my kids.'' He added, ''When I was a kid, people did not talk about these things like they do now. You didn't have chat shows talking about child molestation.'' However, he said, ''I worked it out with a therapist. But if you have a traumatic experience when you are young it does f--- you up. Sharon knows all about it and it was only with her that I could finally relax and be myself.''
In the interview, Ozzy credited wife Sharon with his success and his survival, and recounts how he fell apart when she was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. This spring, with her cancer in remission and Ozzy back on the bottle, she gave him an ultimatum: quit drinking or she'd leave. ''She left me for four days,'' he said. ''The day after she left I got on a plane to Boston and went into hospital to find out what the problem was. I think I have had one glass of wine since.''
In Boston, he said, not only did he quit drinking, but he also learned that his tremors (visible to anyone who's watched ''The Osbournes'' on MTV) were not the result of Parkinson's disease but were hereditary. The diagnosis enabled him to cut down his prescriptions from 30 different pills a day to just 2.
Anticipating his birthday this Wednesday, Ozzy said, ''I have had a f---ing incredible life and, believe me, I haven't taken it for granted. I'm dyslexic and I suffer from attention deficit disorder. I'm 55 on December 3. How I have survived is a miracle but sooner or later something will go wrong.''