Sharon Osbourne has issued a public apology after she was criticised for supporting Piers Morgan, who recently left Good Morning Britain following comments about Meghan Markle.

The former X Factor judge, who co-hosts the American panel show The Talk, previously engaged in a passionate debate with fellow presenter Sheryl Underwood on the issue.

“Educate me. Tell me when you have heard him say racist things. Educate me. Tell me,” she said.

Osbourne also defended Morgan on Twitter, saying that she is “with you [and] I stand by you”.

She wrote on Tuesday: “People forget that you’re being paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.”

However, in a statement posted to the social media network on Friday, Osbourne said she was “truly sorry” to “anyone of colour that I offended” by her remarks on Wednesday’s programme.

“I have always been embraced with so much love and support from the black community and I have deep respect and love for the black community.

“I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive and allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over. There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast!”

Osbourne continued by saying she is “still learning like the rest of us” and will “continue to learn, listen and do better”.

She added: “Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny or bullying. I should have been more specific about that in my tweet.

“I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn’t make that clear distinction.

“I hope we can all hold each other up with accountability, compassion and love during this powerful time of paving the way for so much needed change.”

Commenting on Osbourne’s statement, Twitter users asked whether the TV personality would also issue an apology to Underwood:

Underwood has not responded to Osbourne’s tweet, and it is not known whether the presenter has apologised to her co-host privately.

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