Osmond weighed in on the gossip site’s handling of Kobe Bryant’s recent death after Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva, seemed to criticize the outlet in a press conference for announcing that the NBA star had been killed in a helicopter crash before all of the victims’ families had been notified.
Reflecting on her son Michael’s death by suicide in 2010, Osmond told viewers of The Talk, “As someone who was notified by a coroner, I can tell you that the last thing I would have wanted was to hear it on the news.”
She added, “When you talk about these other families — I understand with Kobe because he’s such a big personality — but those other families? I think it’s great to get a scoop, but …it’s important to consider the human hearts that are involved. These aren’t just adults — these are children. So, to hear it that way? I think we need to be more considerate instead of getting a scoop.”
TMZ founder Harvey Levin defended the site’s actions, telling LA radio station KNX that he first got tipped off to the fatal helicopter crash by a law enforcement source and that his team “talked to Kobe’s people and we were dealing with them for an hour before we published the story, and they said, ‘Go for it.’“
Osmond’s fellow panelist on The Talk, Sharon Osbourne, said Levin and TMZ did nothing wrong.
“Are you telling me that the BBC News call up families and say, ‘Was it your family? Was it your family? Was it your family?’ when a bomb goes down on a military base? No, they don’t — they put out the news as it happens,” said Osbourne.
She continued, “The situation is: He’s just reporting the news. This isn’t personal — it’s the news.”
Viewers took to Twitter with their opinions on the debate, with some saying that TMZ didn’t make the right call:
@TMZ if in fact you were given the right. That does not mean it was the right thing to do.
— Stacey Robbins (@stacki1990) January 29, 2020
But others said TMZ didn’t do anything wrong:
@TMZ did the right thing . Getting approval from Kobe’s family First .
— Allen K (@AllenK25375934) January 29, 2020
Look people! I get that @TMZ @HarveyLevinTMZ should have waited to break the news about Kobe until his family found out. However they are a new outlet! They were doing their job! Poor judgement? of course. Disgusting? Absolutely! Immoral? Hell yea. But it’s their job!
— junior (@JermajestyJr2) January 29, 2020
Watch Tamera Mowry-Housley recall Kobe Bryant’s guest appearance on “Sister, Sister:”
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