Howard Stern endeared himself to a whole new audience on Tuesday, when the shock jock nearly broke down in tears several times during his SiriusXM radio show over the passing of his and wife Beth Ostrosky’s beloved bulldog, Bianca.
While many fans enjoyed seeing the softer side of Howard, the “America’s Got Talent” judge said he would rather not have publicly choked up, but was overcome with sadness.
“I didn’t want to cry on the air, but I kind of did,” he told Access Hollywood following “AGT” in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “I love my dog and that was really rough. I’m having a hard time with it and my wife is having an even harder time and we’re both just devastated.
“I’m literally devastated about it,” he continued, adding, “Anyone who has a dog understands and anyone who doesn’t [have a dog] doesn’t understand, and that’s the way it goes.”
Beth broke the sad news via Twitter on Tuesday, Tweeting, “We lost our precious Bianca today. My sweet little girl, may you rest in peace. I love you forever,” and Howard echoed his wife’s sentiments, writing, “Tough day today my friends. Thanks to all for all the kind messages. Give your dog a hug for me tonight.”
Despite the loss, Howard – who has Bianca’s name tattooed on his arm — showed up for his “AGT” gig on Wednesday and kept it together, though he admits it was challenging.
“It was difficult,” he said. “When I start talking about her and I think of specific things we would do together — just little rituals we would do — it gets me crazy that she’s not with me.
“I walked upstairs today where she usually lies, like right in a certain spot and I was convinced I was going to see her,” he added. “I really wanted to see her and she wasn’t there and I lost it… it’s tough.”
Howard’s fellow “AGT” judge Sharon Osbourne wasn’t surprised to see the radio host reveal a moment of vulnerability, as she said there’s a sensitive man under his famously tough exterior.
“I only know that side of Howard. I know his immense love of animals and we all share that love,” she told Access. “Howard’s just — he’s a real good guy and what can you say when you lose your love, you know? It’s your baby.”