Twelve years on from his life “imploding”, Keith Urban has described in a candid interview how his wife Nicole Kidman used “love in action” to save him from a decade-long battle with drug addiction.
Talking to Andrew Denton on Seven’s Interview on Tuesday night, the multiple Grammy Award winner described how Kidman “put an intervention” together and steered him to rehab months after their 2006 wedding.
“It was divine,” he said, crediting his admission to the Betty Ford Centre in Palm Springs, California, to the actress’s actions.
“It was divine. I mean, ‘divine intervention’, but it’s true, it really was. The timing was absolutely divine.”
Urban has been sober ever since. He told Denton meeting his future wife at 2005’s ‘G’Day USA’ event in Hollywood was the turning point in quitting alcohol and drugs.
“It had nothing to do with whether life was good or bad,” he said.
“I was an equal opportunity addict. I’d get high when it was sunny. High when it was raining.
“It didn’t matter.”
His problems were “something I should have dealt with many, many years before I met Nic,” Urban said.
“But it just never took. I wasn’t ready. Simple as that.”
A 1999 video of Urban in his wilder days – complete with boot cut jeans and tight T-shirt – playing guitar for record executives at a pool party resurfaced on Tuesday.
Now, the spotlit couple live in Nashville with daughters Sunday, 10, and Faith, 7, and their close relationship – his social media clips dedicated to his “baby girl” on her birthday, their vow to make their schedules work so they’re rarely apart – is a Hollywood success story.
But Urban, who on Monday announced he’s bringing his Graffiti U world tour to Australia for seven shows in January, said he was slow off the mark after being introduced to Kidman.
“I thought she was way out of my league,” he said, adding his lack of confidence was “legit”.
While he has a “wild” imagination, “not in a million years did I think that somebody like that would be interested in me. At all”.
But his friends schemed with hers, and “somebody” passed on Kidman’s phone number to Urban.
“I had it in my pocket for a while. I kept looking at it, thinking, ‘If I call this number, she’s going to answer. I don’t know what [to] say’,” he recalled.
“I wasn’t in a very healthy place in my life. I’d never have thought she’d see anything in a guy like me.
“But at some point I plucked up the courage to call those numbers.
“And she answered, and we started talking and we talked and talked and talked and talked, and it was effortless.”
Urban, 50, and Kidman, 51, are planning on bringing their girls back to Australia for a month over summer before his tour dates.
The Big Little Lies star gave a glimpse into her home life on Monday, posting an Instagram video of Sunday and Faith screaming in terror (“Get back, mum!”) as their mother caught a giant spider in their backyard.
A post shared by Nicole Kidman (@nicolekidman) on
While Kidman’s apparent nature skills were lauded – although she isn’t seen capturing and releasing the spider herself – her weird American accent and perfect weekend makeup drew comment from fans.
“I’m having to take care of this spider. Help!” she says in a full twang, holding up the spider under a glass.