Entertainment

Aimee Osbourne, The Osbourne No One Knows About, Is Now Our Favorite Osbourne

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Spike TV's "Guys Choice" - Backstage

When The Osbournes premiered on MTV back in 2002, reality TV was still something of a novelty. There were no Kardashians, no Teen Moms, and no Housewives of anywhere.

Very quickly, The Osbournes became MTV's highest-rated show ever (they were knocked off their throne in 2011 by a group of guidos and guidettes) and even though Ozzy was famous for decades before, he suddenly shared the spotlight with his wife, Sharon, and two teenage children, Jack and Kelly. The show was successful throughout its 4-season run, and made bona-fide celebrities out of the entire family.

Well, *almost* the entire family. Most people, even to this day, probably don't realize that there's a third Osbourne child named Aimee, who opted out of the reality show. Aimee, now 32, had just turned 18 when MTV came knocking on her family's door, but her decision to remain off camera meant she had to make some quick decisions about her own future.

In an interview with The Independent, Aimee said:

“Back then, I still felt I was trying to figure out who I was in the chaos of family life, so why on earth would I want that portrayed on television? I wanted to protect myself, my parents, my siblings, too. They were very young, very impressionable.”

She says that after many “shouting matches,” her family decided to film the show:

“It didn't matter what I thought, ultimately. This was their path, their decision, and they were of course at liberty to take the opportunity. Which they did.”

Aimee's presence in the family home was replaced by an MTV camera crew.

“Obviously, I would have liked to stay at home a little longer, but it wasn't to be.”

The show gave an open look into the private highs and lows of the British family, including Sharon's battle with colon cancer, Ozzy's struggles with sobriety, and Jack and Kelly's problems in school, and ultimately, with substances as well. But it also opened them up to a host of other problems: Ozzy was portrayed as a drug-addled mess, and Jack and Kelly were ridiculed for their weight, which Kelly admits played a role in her issues with drugs and alcohol.

It's hard to imagine now that Aimee managed to fly so far under the radar, but in 2002, there was still the ability for famous kids to remain anonymous. Now, with social media, I think Aimee would be under the spotlight even if she didn't appear on the show, because it's so much harder to hide, well, anything from the public. She's been called everything from “recluse” to “hermit” to “Marilyn Munster” for her choice to stay away from the reality TV juggernaut.

These days, Aimee is making a name for herself as a musician under the name ARO (her initials: Aimee Rachel Osbourne), but she admits it hasn't always been easy.

“It's been a frustrating journey, a lot of trial and error. For years it felt like I was swimming in the ocean, all by myself.”

She also says that her music career has nothing to do with her dad's, adding:

“I never had to battle for my identity. I have always been me. I've lived through a lot of dark environments one way or another while growing up, and that has influenced my songwriting. And, yes, I suppose melancholy is a running theme.”

On her siblings (and father's) famous struggles with sobriety, she says:

“I suppose I was the one that had to be in control a lot of the time. But then it came naturally. And, for me, watching people get out of control, and be indulgent and dramatic was… well, very silly. When you are already surrounded by that kind of thing, you either surrender fully and accept it as your destiny, or you think to yourself, ‘You know what? I'm not going to try that, actually.' OK, it may have been their thing, but I didn't want to do that. I kept it together, mostly.”

She adds that she isn't super close with her siblings, saying:

“I wouldn't say there is an ease between us, but there is an acceptance. Do we socialize? No.”

Ouch.

So now, with a burgeoning music career, is Aimee prepared for the possibility of fame?

“I'll be having lunch with my mum and she'll complain about the paparazzi outside. I tell her that she could have worn a beanie, but of course she never does. She loves it – it's how she chooses to connect with people. That's fine, I can respect that. But I'm the opposite. I always have been.”

I feel kind of sad for Aimee. I can't imagine being 18 and having my parents force me out because the wealth and fame of a TV show is more important than my desire for privacy and normalcy. It must be bizarre to watch your family members become caricatures of themselves. But her music career sounds like it holds plenty of promise — and she's doing it without the glare of the reality TV spotlight.

(Photo: Todd Williamson/WireImage)

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