Donny Osmond apologized to Larry King Monday on the TODAY show for ripping into him over the talk show host’s on-air disclosure that his nephew was in rehab.
“I’m not going to pull any punches here,” he told TODAY show co-anchor Meredith Vieira in a taped interview that aired Monday. “I was very upset about it. I thought it was very unfair for Larry King to throw that question at Marie the way that he did.”
“Dancing with the Stars” contestant Marie Osmond, 48, appeared blindsided when King asked about her son’s rehabilitation in a Nov. 14 televised interview.
Afterward, Donny Osmond complained loudly about it.
But then, he said, his sister called him and told him that she had learned that the news had leaked to the tabloids and was about to be published. King’s question had actually allowed her to head off the scandal sheets and address the issue directly, he said.
“I have to apologize to Larry King because I said some things against him,” he said. “In hindsight, I’m grateful that he gave Marie that platform.”
He said that the positive upshot of the affair is that it lets others dealing with substance abuse in their families know that they’re not alone. And he kept going back to how proud he is of his sister.
A trying year
Marie Osmond has been through so much this year — another divorce, the death of her father, a son in rehab — but she remains strong, optimistic and has even indicated she'd be up for a reunion tour with Donny, her brother told TODAY.
“No announcements yet, we haven’t decided a rock-solid thing yet,” Donny Osmond said. “But, you know, it’s inevitable.”
The one-time co-star of “The Donny and Marie Show" said he and his sister started talking about reuniting after the famous singing family staged its 50th Anniversary reunion concert in Last Vegas in August.
The event went so well, the family decided to go on tour together, and that led to the talk of the two best-known members of the family doing a tour of their own.
The reason for doing it is simple: “It’s so much fun,” he said.
Osmond also talked openly with Vieira about the adversity and challenges his sister has faced this year and how well she’s dealt with them. In March, she and her second husband, Brian Blosil, announced that they were divorcing after 21 years of marriage.
In August, she joined her siblings for their reunion. She had her much-replayed fainting episode on “Dancing with the Stars.” Early this month, the patriarch of the family, George Osmond, died at the age of 90. And last week during an appearance with Donny on Larry King’s show, she admitted that her 16-year-old son, Michael, had entered rehab for substance abuse.
“I admire my sister so much that she’s still standing,” Osmond said. “Think about it: The last two weeks, we lost our father, dealing with ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ She’s gone through a divorce, and now her son’s being dragged all over the press about his issues.”
‘I’ll do it if you do it, Meredith’
Donny Osmond said his sister told him of the “Dancing” competition, she “had no idea it was going to be this hard.” And, he said, “She has a chance to win this entire thing.”
Through it all, he said, “She’s still smiling. She’s still standing. She’s still optimistic. She’s still fighting. She’s a great woman.”
Vieira asked him if he’s been asked to go on the popular show.
“Time and time again,” he said.
Asked if he’d take up the challenge, he challenged Vieira: “I’ll do it if you do it, Meredith.”
He then said that he couldn’t make a commitment to put on his dancing shoes yet. “Never say never,” he said, but, he added, “At this point in time, I don’t know if I really want the pressure. I don’t know if I want all of that work. It’s exciting, it’s fun, but it’s a lot of work.”
Right now, he said, he’s more excited about the prospect of the arrival of his first granddaughter. Osmond, who turns 50 next month, has five sons ranging in age from 28 to 9. Two years ago, he and his wife, Debra, welcomed their first grandson.
“Finally, after five boys and a grandson, we’re going to have granddaughter,” he said. “My wife is beside herself. [The baby] is going to be the most spoiled girl on the face of the planet, and I don’t care.”