Sharon Osbourne fears TV talent shows can send contestants "over the edge".
The 'X Factor' judge changed her outlook on the programmes a few years ago following a chance encounter with a vulnerable former 'American Idol' hopeful when she was being treated for depression.
And Sharon admitted seeing how badly affected the woman was by being "laughed" at on the show has made her think twice before she makes cutting comments to any of the auditionees.
She told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "I met this 28-year-old girl in the treatment centre who had auditioned for the first season of 'American Idol'.
"She was overweight and a really bad singer and they used her little audition to promote the show.
"People were laughing. And then they used the clip over and over and it affected this girl so deeply that it basically changed the course of her life. She was used and it sent her over the edge...
"I never mentioned her to anyone, but it really made me think about the effect these shows can have on people. I honestly don't want to be mean to anyone who isn't strong enough to take it."
'X Factor' boss Simon Cowell recently admitted Sharon is paid much more for doing the show than programme stalwart Louis Walsh, but the 64-year-old matriarch insisted that is simply because her friend is so happy to be on the programme.
She said: "But you see they give Louis a contract and he just signs it and says 'Thank you very much.'
"Of course there are women earning more than men on TV - and actually the UK is much better with that side of things than the US."
But the outspoken star admitted bosses on 'America's Got Talent' - on which she was a judge from 2007 to 2012 - refused her request for a pay rise.
She said: "They just said no. But what am I? A dummy? No! Still they think: 'She's a woman, she'll take what's offered to her'."