Sharon Osbourne has provoked fury after branding the parents of Madeleine McCann “insane” for leaving the three-year-old alone in a hotel room on the night she went missing.
The 63-year-old was on US chat show The Talk where she made a thinly-veiled reference to the famous case.
Sharon Osbourne was on the show The Talk. Via Facebook.
The panel was discussing a recent social media debate about leaving children alone. A British woman had asked a popular forum what parents thought of leaving a 10-month-old child sleeping peacefully at home for seven minutes while they ran out quickly to the shops.
( The mother admitted that she had indeed done it, but that she wanted reassurance what she did was okay, she didn't get it.)
After bringing up the subject on The Talk - in a clear reference to Kate and Gerry McCann - Osbourne said: “I will tell you a very quick story. There was a husband and wife on holiday in Portugal.
“They left their baby in the room sleeping, sleeping while they went to dinner in the restaurant.
“While they were in the resort their baby was taken. And it is like, ‘Oh but we can see everything that is going on’ and it is, like, insane.”
Maddie disappeared in Portugal's southern Algarve region. Via Getty.
Madeleine disappeared from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.
Her parents were having dinner with friends at the resort's tapas restaurant which was approximately 50 metres from their apartment.
The group had been taking turns to check on their sleeping children before Kate discovered Maddie was missing at about 10pm.
Sharon has been told to keep her views to herself. Via Getty.
A family friend told The Mirror that Kate and Gerry McCann are furious about the comments from Sharon Osbourne.
“It’s very disappointing when someone with such a high profile makes this sort of ignorant, ill-informed comment.
“She should think about the effect it could have on Madeleine’s brother and sister, as well as the wider family.
“Kate and Gerry have never forgiven themselves and this should not have been aired in a random way, as it apparently was.
“It’s based on ignorance of the true facts. While she’s entitled to her view she should keep it to herself.”
Many though, agree.
“As far as I can see they are spot on. The McCann's left 3 kids on their own when they went out to have dinner. That is a fact. If the unnamed "family friend" has the true facts then she should say what they are. Why should Sharon keep her view to herself? The McCann's have done everything they can, to close down criticism of what they did but in fact at the end of the day, they were the ones who chose to leave the kids on their own and were responsible for those kids safety, so people are going to hold them to blame for what happened” wrote one.
British TV personality Katie Hopkins says it is time to end the hunt for Madeleine McCann and missing boy Ben Needham. Post continues after video.
Another: “The truth hurts and while I have nothing but sympathy for the McCanns, what they did was totally wrong. If we left our kids here alone they would be taking off us.”
And: "What have Kate and Gerry got to be so outraged at? They left three kids, under the age of 3 alone in an apartment! Fact. If they hadn't, Maddy would still be with them. They have to live with that."
Others were more compassionate:
“At this late stage, it's not about the rights or wrongs of it, it unfortunately happened. Give the forever grieving parents/family some compassion and kindness and let's all learn from it. Judge not please!”
And this one: "Nobody will ever know the true facts about this very sad case but that idiot Sharon Osborne should keep her nose out of a business she know nothings about. Kate and Gerry will have to live with this the rest of there lives."
Kate and Gerry admitted they were wracked with guilt. Via Getty.
In an interview to mark the first anniversary of her disappearance Kate and Gerry admitted they were wracked with guilt over her abduction and wished they had instead used the resort's in-house babysitting service.
Gerry said: "We made a mistake, but we are paying more for it than anyone could ever possibly imagine.
"Hindsight has proven we made a mistake and we would never leave the children again."