Wilson Menashi, an 84-year-old volunteer who has logged over 8,000 hours at the New England Aquarium, was honored last Thursday along with other volunteers for devoting an extraordinary amount of his time and energy. The aptly named “octopus whisperer” has volunteered at the aquarium for almost 25 years and says the interaction he gets from the majestic sea creatures is reward enough for him.
He began volunteering after he retired as an engineer. He said his choice to volunteer at the aquarium came as he sought to fulfill his passion for marine wildlife and the ocean. After a couple of years, they received octopuses in the aquarium.
“When we first started with the octopus about 23, 24 years ago, nobody dared touched them,” he recalled. He was the first, he said, and had to get adjusted to the suction cups on the tentacles. “I’m comfortable with them, and they feel it,” he said.
You get a lot of hickeys on your hand. How do you explain a whole armful of hickeys to your wife, but she understood,” he joked. “They definitely all had entirely different personalities. They’re very intelligent. They will react with you and they want something to do.”
Incredibly, Menashi went above and beyond, building them boxes with latches for the octopuses to learn how to open. Inside the boxes were crabs as incentive. Octopuses are very intelligent creatures, displaying impressive cognitive abilities. Menashi said he built the boxes “just to challenge them a little bit. See what they could do.”
“Wilson really enjoys their intelligence and interacting with them,” said Bill Murphy, a marine biologist. “And it’s very different from octopus to octopus, so it always keeps it new and interesting.” Menashi vowed to continue working “as long as I can.” At the dinner to honor the 1,000 volunteers the aquarium requires for day-to-day operations, Menashi was placed front and center.
The Osbournes Have Gone Through Many Hardships Until Now
Where Do They Come From
Most of the baggage we bring in our adult life comes from our childhood. Neither Sharon nor Ozzy had easy childhoods, even if they had very financially different lives. Sharon came from a wealthy family but her father was very strict. He was a very powerful person in the music industry, and rumors said a lot of things about her dad that would make you not want to mess with him. On the other hand, Ozzy came from a family with little income. His parents had five more children which created even more money problems. Additionally, Ozzy had to leave school early because of his learning disorder.
Ozzy became famous in 1970 and even though he is a well-known star in the music industry, he has been known for many negative reasons as well. Addictions, violence, and even cheating on both of his wives. He has 5 biological children and has been a better father to the last 3 than the first 2. His life proved to be filled with ups and downs, along with many unpleasant surprises along the way.
Dysfunctional Family History
Sharon’s father was a mogul in the music industry that would even threaten to fire his own daughter. Ozzy had a different type of dysfunction. He left school at an early age because of his dyslexia, which led him down an interesting path.
Ozzy’s First Marriage Doesn’t Make It
When Sharon and Ozzy first met, he was already married and had three children. In 1971, Thelma Riley tied the knot with Ozzy Osbourne. They were married for ten years when the two split due to Ozzy’s cheating and substance abuse issues. The three children that came from this marriage stayed out of the limelight and had very little contact with their famous rock star dad.
Two Ships Passing
The couple first met in 1970 when Sharon was just 18 years old, and Ozzy was married to his first wife. The two met through Sharon’s father, who managed Ozzy’s band back then, Black Sabbath. The pair didn’t have much contact, but they would meet up several times at events held by Sharon’s father, Don Arden.
Fate Brought Them Together
Eventually, the two would meet up again, and this would push their relationship into new avenues. Learning everything at her father’s side, Sharon would meet up quite a bit with Ozzy. Eventually, the student surpassed the master, and when Ozzy found himself out of the band, Sharon used her knowledge to help him out. This would cause a rift between her and her father.
Ozzy Is Fired
In 1979 Ozzy was fired from the band that he helped found and felt his future looked bleak. Enter Sharon! Sharon flew out to LA and convinced Ozzy to let her manage his new solo career. In fact, she would be the force behind Ozzy releasing that first amazing solo album, Blizzard of Oz. This relationship would turn into something more and eventually lead to them dating. The rest is history as they say.
Prove Your Love
Ozzy and Sharon dated for a little while he was still married, and sometimes they partied a little too hard. Actually, at one point, Ozzy asked her how much she loved him, and she responded by letting him know she would gladly die for him. To demonstrate that she was not lying, she took a steak knife and began cutting her wrist. Sharon wound up in an emergency room and eventually a mental hospital.
Here Comes the Bride
By 1982 the couple had been dating for some time even though Ozzy was still technically married to his first wife. When the divorce was finalized, it didn’t take long for the two to make their way down the aisle. In a beautiful Hawaiian wedding on the 4th of July, Sharon Arden became Sharon Osbourne. Later, Ozzy and Sharon would let people know the date was chosen for a reason – it was so he would never forget his anniversary and because it was his independence day.
Late Night Party Dress
You try anything when the one you love has a substance problem. Sharon Osbourne, at a tour stop, decided the best way to do this would be to hide Ozzy’s clothes. Ozzy wasn’t going to let that little trick deter him from having a night out. So he stole one of his wife’s dresses and headed out for a night of partying. Eventually, he found his way to a famous monument and needed to find a bathroom. Not finding one, he thought it was okay to urinate on the monument. For this, he would end up being arrested and banned from the city.
One, Two, Three Bundles of Joy
The couple wouldn’t take long to build their family, and over the next three years, they would bring two daughters and a son home. In September of 1983, their eldest daughter, Aimee, made her debut. She was followed by Kelly the following year in October, and Jack in November of 1985. Two of these siblings would become very familiar to the world with the launch of the family’s famous reality television show.
The first Osbourne kid, Aimee, came into the world in 1983. Kelly, the second, was born a year later, followed by Jack, the last child born in 1985. Their family also grew once again, a few years later, as they took in Robert Marcato, a family friend’s child. Robert started to live with them during the beginning of their reality show. His mother passed away as she was suffering from cancer, and the Osbournes let him join their family.
“You Have to Go!”
There had been many instances of domestic violence over the years, but in 1989 the violence and antics came to a head. Ozzy had been drinking quite a bit and found his way home. Opening the door, he proclaimed that Sharon had to go and began to strangle her. Sharon called the authorities but refused to press charges. Instead of doing time, he ended up spending three months in a rehabilitation clinic.
This Is a Fight Song
Their marriage was always a little tumultuous and fraught with plenty of violence and fights. In fact, one of the most noteworthy that the couple could remember is one that took place during a show. They would fight, and then Ozzy would go back and finish a song. This process continued throughout the whole gig.
Rehab Saves the Day
After all these issues, Ozzy once again went to rehab, and this time it took. Taking the time to figure out his demons, Ozzy became the picture of sobriety. He remained sober for a long time, only falling off the wagon in the 2000s. This, of course, would lead him to make some tragic mistakes and put a considerable amount of pressure on his and Sharon’s marriage and his relationship with his children.
Sharon Loses Weight
Sharon had a constant fight with her weight, and in 1999 she took steps to win the battle. In 1999, Sharon went under the knife and had lap band surgery. After doing this, she lost 100 pounds. After several years she then went back and had the band removed. She has been able to keep the weight off and remain healthy for over thirty years.
All About Sharon
Sharon’s love for Ozzy was so strong that she said she would gladly die for him, and even proved it by physically harming herself. This, of course, made her land in an ER and mental hospital. Throughout her life she had a few medical problems. Another hard kick Sharon received was in 2002 when she was diagnosed with colon cancer.
No More Children
After her three children, she wanted more kids. Unfortunately, she found out that after a series of misfortunes, she was unable to conceive. When she was just married, there was an incident that caused her to lose a baby. Then in the ’80s, she tried IVF, but that didn’t take as well. After their three children, she got a serious stomach infection that caused permanent damage to her body.
The TV Show
The family gained their popularity during their MTV reality show, The Osbournes. The show has the highest ratings in the recorded history of MTV. The show followed Sharon and Ozzy, but also their three kids and Robert Marcato, as he started to live in the house at the same time as they began the show. The reality show put all three of them in the spotlight and is what made them popular in the first place, although Ozzy was already famous for his career in music.
Reality TV at Its Finest
In 2002, MTV gambled on a whole new concept… reality television. To fire the open salvo, they went with a crazy idea of following the lives of a rock and roll legend and his family. The show would follow the everyday life of legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his family. The show would become one of the highest-rated and most iconic shows on MTV’s schedule. The antics and wacky personalities of the family helped make this show popular.
Profanity And Censor
During the reality show, the Osbournes often used profanity in their speech. According to the US laws, this meant that much of their discussion had to be censored. In the UK and Canada, on the other hand, the family was not censored, so the audience could hear their entire speech. Surprisingly, Ozzy reported that his favorite version of the show is the American one since the profanity was somehow highlighted by the sound effects.
As Kelly, along with the entire family, became popular due to the TV show, she decided to take this as an opportunity and carve her own path. She started by recording a cover of a song from 1972, “Changes,” played by Black Sabbath. While the initial song was quite popular, her cover did not hit the records in the US. Instead, Kelly’s cover became number one on the UK charts. This was such a success that Kelly, along with her father, decided to create a video, too, for the single.
The Osbourne’s Become Household Names
Over the next four seasons, the Osbourne’s built a franchise and launched not only Ozzy further into the limelight but Sharon, Kelly, and Jack into stardom as well. Catchphrases from Ozzy yelling at Sharon may have been one of the reasons that the family became household names. Or it could have been the larger than life personalities and dramas in the house. Whatever it was, Jack and Kelly saw the most gain from the show, but along with stardom came many other issues too.
Oldest Daughter Is Missing
One child that the fame did not touch was Ozzy and Sharon’s oldest, Aimee. Aimee left home at the age of 16 and just couldn’t live in the house under that scrutiny. There is a lot of pressure when a camera is in your face 24 hours a day, and at a young age, you can imagine that it is even more so. Aimee couldn’t stand it, and so she opted to leave home. In fact, Aimee has really stayed out of the spotlight even after the show. Choosing to build her music and acting career without the help of her famous family.
Sharon Gets Bad News
The show may have been going great, but 2002 would prove to be a very difficult year for the family. It all started in July when Sharon was diagnosed with colon cancer. After getting this diagnosis, Sharon was struck hard but eventually would push through with dignity and courage. After putting it off for three years she had almost a foot of her colon removed. This tough situation made her realize that life is worth living and that she had taken her life for granted.
Kelly Has a Problem
On top of the scary health situation with Sharon, Kelly also developed a severe problem with prescription medication. Trying to cope with what her mom was going through, Kelly turned to prescription medication to numb the pain. Kelly would later reveal that at one point, she was taking up to 50 pills a day just to make it through. It wouldn’t be for another two years before she decided to get clean and head to rehab.
When she was 13 when she was addicted to painkillers, especially Vicodin after she had tonsils removing surgery. Besides her addition to pills, she also suffered from alcohol problems at a very young age. Just like her mom, she also struggled with weight. She was into reality TV most of her life and has been well known for saying the wrong things.
All About Kelly
Kelly was happy with her life and being in the spotlight. Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton were close friends of hers and often went out with them and partied, which led to addictions to drinking and in the end developed poisoning. Kelly had weight problems most of her life, until she became a contestant in “Dancing With The Stars” in 2009. She lost 70 pounds and went through a beautiful transformation.
Jack hasn’t always been the man he is today. The first time he abused alcohol was at 13 years old, at his birthday party. By the time he was 14, he was smoking and drinking on a regular basis. Eventually, he ended up addicted to OxyContin and in 2003 he went to rehab. When his mother, Sharon, received her cancer diagnosis, he got worse, adding depression to his list. Everything worsened at one point in his life when it all lead to an attempt at talking his own life.
Jack Follows In His Father’s Footsteps
Kelly wasn’t the only one struggling with inner demons. Sharon and Ozzy’s son, Jack, also followed down the same path as his father and sister and developed a substance abuse problem. Jack, trying to handle everything that came with the fame along with the family medical issues, took to drinking and painkillers and soon found himself with quite a problem. He would, of course, reach out for help before his sister and entered rehab in 2003.
Jack Turns His Life Around
Although he had a lot of ups and downs in his life, he turned out to be a very strong man. He is now divorced but has 3 beautiful daughters with whom he shares custody with his ex-wife. In 2012 he received a very severe diagnosis – multiple sclerosis, but that ended up revealing how strong he has become. After starting his treatments, he turned his life around and now follows a healthy diet and exercises regularly.
Executives & Embarrassment
In his 2010 autobiography, “I am Ozzy”, the rockstar goes into even more of the craziness that was his life. One of the stories he relays offers a look at one of the most embarrassing moments for both him and Sharon. During a meeting with executives from CBS Europe, Ozzy stripped while on a table and screamed at them to punch him in the face. Sharon, mortified, took him up on the offer and punched him straight in the face knocking him to the floor.
Their oldest daughter, Aimee, decided that she wanted absolutely nothing to do with the hectic life her family was having. She refused to be in the spotlight and disliked her family’s behavior on The Osbournes reality show. Therefore, she took life on her own and decided she wanted to be independent.
Aimee decided to leave home when she was only 16 and decided to stay out of the family celebrity life even after the reality show ended. She decided to start a career on her own and not influence anything due to her famous parents. Aimee wanted to work hard and master her own life. After trying to launch her music career a few times, and rebranding herself numerous times, she finally started recording music, under a different name, ARO – which are her initials. Aimee Rachel Osbourne.
Ozzy & Sharon Become Grandparents
In 2012 Jack married his girlfriend Lisa, and they settled down to have a beautiful life. Not long after their nuptials, they were gifted with their first child. The joyous event made Ozzy and Sharon grandparents, and they took to it with flying colors. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like having this metal legend and media mogul as your grandparents.
Jack Gets Diagnosed With MS
Unfortunately, their happiness would be overshadowed briefly by a tragic diagnosis. After the birth of his first child, Jack announced that he had been diagnosed with MS. The parents went through the typical stages of grief. Jack has taken up the banner for MS and really focused on leading a happy, healthy life. While doing this, he built a family and a career.
Sharon Made Her Health a Priority
Often when a family member gets sick, your health and life come further into focus. This is what happened to Sharon. In 2012, she was told that she was at high risk of ending up with breast cancer. Just a decade after her first brush with cancer, she decided to go ahead and have preventative surgery. So that year, Sharon underwent a double mastectomy.
Return to the Drugs and Drinking
Ozzy had taken a step out of the limelight, but in 2013, he reemerged and not for a good reason. The metal legend took to social media to announce that he had slipped in his sobriety. Ozzy told his followers and fans that he was in a very dark place and was trying to find his way out. He also addressed some rumors and simply said they weren’t true. He went on to talk about how much he loved his family and that he would get back on the right path for them.
Rumors Begin to Swirl
The rumors that he had been addressing were running rampant through online and print sources. There were rumors that his marriage was on the rocks and that he and Sharon were getting a divorce. At the time, the rumors weren’t true though the marriage had seen some trying times over the years.
Affairs Cause Trouble
One of the causes of these rumors was the discovery by Sharon that Ozzy had had a mistress for years. Sharon had known of some of the affairs, but when she found emails from the latest one, she had enough. There were, of course, other issues, but Ozzy’s constant wandering eye definitely played a part in Sharon’s final decision to leave him.
The Couple Calls it Quits
Having had enough in 2016, the couple announced their separation. This shocked Ozzy fans and ended a 33-year long marriage. It was shocking because just the week before, Sharon had been posting pictures from Ozzy’s performances. They had even taken pictures enjoying a romantic Valentine’s day just a few months earlier. The two wouldn’t be separated long though but long enough for some new revelations to come from Sharon.
Sharon Comes Out
Things were changing in Sharon’s life rapidly, and in her show, she made an even bigger revelation. Sharon found the courage to come out as bi-sexual. She said on her show, ”I always think everybody is gay, so am I!” She went on to say that she felt that she missed out on a lot and felt that her time to really experience life was far gone. This was a bold statement and even more courageous for her to announce on television.
Getting Back Together
Just a couple of months later the couple was back together, and the divorce was canceled. Ozzy made an appearance on Sharon’s talk show, where they both discussed their relationship and where it was going. “Like with all relationships, you have your good days and bad,” Ozzy said. He talked about how much he had learned over the prior year and how it changed his appreciation for his wife, Sharon.
Renew Their Love in Vegas
A year after they got back together, the couple felt they needed to renew their love and vows to each other. What better place to do that then in Las Vegas! In May of 2017, the couple and their family met up in Las Vegas for the beautiful renewal ceremony. Despite all the affairs and struggles with substance abuse, the two have never been happier.
Jack Gets Divorced
In the early part of 2019, Jack Osbourne announced that he and his wife of six years were separating. Just three months after their third daughter was born, Lisa filed for divorce. The two had been trying to make it work with therapy for years, but it was just too much, and the couple decided it was best for their family to part ways. The couple has three children, which they share custody of, and Jack is already seeing someone new.
Kelly Splits Too
Kelly has had a lot of trials and tribulations over the years, and her love life did not escape unscathed. Over the years, she has been engaged twice, and her recent boyfriend is Jimmy Q. The relationship became very argumentative, and Kelly felt it wasn’t healthy for her. But the split up was okay, and so is Kelly, who, around the same time, posted proudly that she had been two years sober.
A Year of Health Problems
2019 was a rough year for Ozzy. He spent a great deal of time sick and in the hospital. Ozzy told the press that it was the worst and most tragic year of his life. Ozzy had a string of problems starting with a serious case of pneumonia and continued with an infection after surgery. He also wound up in the hospital for flu complications. The one thing that kept him going was his love for his wife and family.
More Health Issues for the Osbourne’s
In that same interview, he would go on to discuss another serious health issue that he had been diagnosed with. He discussed his recent diagnosis of a mild type of Parkinson’s disease. Ozzy has been diagnosed with PRKN2, which is one of the less invasive forms. Sharon and Ozzy have dealt with so much the couple is using their lifelong experience to fight and live with this new development.
Ups and Downs
All members of the family had a lot of ups and downs along the way. None of their children have a happy married life. Jack is divorced, Aimee is single, and Kelly was twice engaged but never married. Ozzy, Jack, and Kelly had to undergo rehab, and Sharon had some serious health problems. But, they’ve always stood together though and supported each other during hard times.
They Are Wonderful
Sharon seems to be in good health for the past few years, Ozzy went to rehab a few times in his life but has now been sober for a pretty decent while. Kelly, as she herself said, turned around beautifully, and ended being a girl others look up to, even though she was seen as a bad influence before. Jack has had a lot of struggles in his life, but he states he loves his daughters to the moon and back, and most likely they are the reason for his unbelievable change as well. Aimee’s ambition is highly appreciated, she never gave up and she now has a successful career in both music and acting.