Howard Stern claims Sharon Osbourne received a pay-off to leave 'The X Factor' quietly.

Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne

The 65-year-old star confirmed this week she would be quitting the ITV talent competition - where she was due to join the judging panel for the live shows - as she said it "felt odd" to appear at such a late stage of the programme.

Sharon's exit followed her explosive rant last month where she insulted both boss Simon and the show during an appearance on 'The Howard Stern Show', and now the radio host has hinted that she was paid to keep her "mouth shut" in her leaving statement.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper's Bizarre TV column, Howard said: "Maybe ... if you get paid off or something - if you keep your mouth shut, you get money. Next time we see Sharon we have got to ask her about that.

"They ask for an opinion. And look, I was on America's Got Talent for four years, so I know the score. If you do give a real opinion they edit it out.

"Sharon was just being honest. It is all horses***. That is why she is a good judge and that is why I love working with her."

In her rant, Sharon claimed Simon would do anything to get his "fat face" on television, before claiming she wanted to "drown" him and branded the show a "f***ing karaoke."

Asked who she would save if they were on a sinking ship, Sharon joked at the time: "We would put a f***ing brick around his neck and throw him over. I will drown you mother f***er. Absolutely...he's gone."

But when announcing her departure from the show, she simply said "decided to pass" on taking part this year, and dubbed Simon as "gracious".

In a statement shared on Facebook, she said: "After watching the new season #XFactor unfold, I've seen the new judges finding their rhythm and are doing brilliantly.

"Simon was so gracious to find me a spot on the live shows but at this point I really don't think I'm needed and I would honestly feel odd coming in at this point. So I have decided to pass on the series this year.

"I wish the show continued success and as much as I love to get my face on TV you will have to do without me this season."