He'll be home to tour Australia with his latest album Ripcord later this year, but for now Keith Urban is dealing in home truths. The country-rock star has come clean on his drug abuse in the late nineties, marriage to Nicole Kidman and his hard life growing up.
In his most unguarded interview ever, Urban, 48, told Rolling Stone magazine his childhood wasn’t as "intimate" as he would have liked.
“My dad was an alcoholic, and I grew up in an alcoholic's house. No intimacy."
Keith’s father Bob Urban passed away from cancer in December. His wife, actress Nicole Kidman, 48, and daughters Sunday, 7, and Faith, 5, did not attend the funeral on the Sunshine Coast.
While Urban drew the line at his father being branded as "abusive", he told the magazine his dad was a "physical disciplinarian" who in later life had no memory of the punishments he dished out to his young son.
“The way he disciplined me, he seemed to have forgotten about it as he got older,” said the American Idol judge. “I don't think he was in denial, he genuinely had no recollection. 'Hitting you? I never did that!'"
After battling drug and alcohol addictions for decades, Urban is determined to be a stable influence on his own girls. He credits Kidman with helping him kick the habit for good, and says he "caused the implosion of my fresh marriage" after falling back on old habits after their wedding in Sydney in June 2006.
By October 19 that year, he had checked into the Betty Ford Clinic in Palm Springs for alcohol issues. Kidman was a regular visitor, and the marriage "survived, but it's a miracle it did," the Grammy winner admitted. "I was spiritually awoken with her.”
Said Urban, “I use the expression 'I was born into her,' and that's how I feel. And for the first time in my life, I could shake off the shackles of addiction."