Was Sharon Osbourne fired from 'X Factor' after telling Howard Stern contestants 'suck' and she'd like to 'drown' Simon Cowell?

An expletive-laced interview with Howard Stern may have cost Sharon Osbourne one of her biggest gigs.

Osbourne says it was her choice not to return next season to Britain's "The X Factor," the long-running reality show spearheaded by Simon Cowell.

But British tabloids say otherwise, with emerging reports claiming that Osbourne is not going by choice. She was instead allegedly ousted after making candid comments on Stern's SiriusXM program a few weeks ago.

Stern -- a veteran reality show judge in his own right after spending four seasons on "America's Got Talent" -- asked Osbourne on his Sept. 4 episode why she only signed on to judge the live shows and not the early auditions.

In response, Osbourne said, "Oh f--k, I don't have to have those kids singing in my face. Those little sh-ts. They all suck. It is like, 'Hey, is this f--king karaoke or what?'"

She also referred to Cowell as a "f--king pain in the arse" who will do anything to get his "f--king fat face on TV" and said that if she were on a sinking boat, she'd drown him. Aware of the harshness of her comments, she jokingly asked Stern, "Are you giving me a job when I get the f--king sack?"

Despite speculation that the comments in fact got her the sack, both Osbourne and "The X Factor" put out statements this week saying the exit was her decision.

“After watching the new season ‘The X Factor’ 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," Osbourne said. "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."

An "X Factor" spokesperson seemingly confirmed Osbourne's version of events, saying, "Sharon Osbourne has decided not to return to this year’s show. Sharon will always be a big part of ‘The X Factor’ family and we wish her all the best for the future.”

Osbourne first appeared on "The X Factor" in 2004 and left the show in 2008. She then returned in 2013, and she signed a three-year deal in 2016.