Country superstar and American Idol judge Keith Urban has revealed that marrying Nicole Kidman in 2006 drove him to drink. Then she saved his life.
His long-standing problem with alcohol didn't spiral out of control because of anything Kidman did. It was when she wasn't there to do anything that he would hit the bottle.
"When she would go away [to work on a movie] I would find myself feeling very alone, very lost, and vulnerable to my old ways," Urban recently told Rolling Stone. "We had just gotten married and this entity in my life is coming just to crush and kill everything that I've got."
When she returned from Kosovo and noticed Urban was in trouble, Kidman stepped in and staged an intervention with a group of his close friends. He entered the Betty Ford Center for rehab that October. "I was very, very blessed to have Nic call an intervention on me," Urban said. "I didn't give a s--- about anything except turning a corner in my life and doing whatever it took for that. I remember having been in rehab a few weeks, and the CMAs happened. I forgot they were on. I had gone to bed and I remember our night tech coming in and him saying, ‘You just won something. Male vocalist? CMAs or something?’ And I was like, 'Really?' And he said, 'Yeah, off to bed,' and he shut the door."
Urban's battle with drugs and alcohol started in the '90s when he was in the band the Ranch. Having performed professionally since 1990, he was often able sleep off the hangovers and remain a functional substance abuser. But there were certainly exceptions, like the time he recorded "Some Days You Gotta Dance" with the Dixie Chicks for their 1999 album Fly.
"I got on a three-day bender and had to call them and tell them, 'I'm going to be a bit late,'" he told the magazine. "Then I would call and say I'm going to be a bit later. I completely missed the session. I lived, like, a street away. It was ridiculous. I could have walked there with my guitar in hand and I couldn't make it [until the next day]."
Urban went to rehab for the first time in 1998 and was sober for eight years until the aforementioned relapse while Kidman was away. He has been sober since 2006 and now the celebrity couple have two daughters, Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret. They most time they'll go without seeing each other is five days, and they Skype and talk on the phone multiple times a day when they're apart. While Urban was successful before he met Kidman, he credits her for shaping him into the person he has become.
"I felt like I was just sitting dormant, and she came along and I came to life," he said. "I was born into her, so who I am now was waiting the whole time."