Keith Urban Credits Nicole Kidman With His Relapse and Sobriety

By McCarton Ackerman 06/10/14

The country music star and American Idol judge has battled drug and alcohol addiction since the 90s.

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Country star and American Idol judge Keith Urban said that wife Nicole Kidman was an indirect cause of his drinking problem spiraling out of control, but also credited the actress with saving his life.

The singer had been battling with drugs and alcohol since the 90s, but described himself as a largely functional substance abuser during that time. When his drug use got out of hand, Urban finally entered rehab in 1998 and remained sober for six years. But after getting married to Kidman in 2006, he found that being away from her drove him to drink.

"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," he 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."

Kidman eventually staged an intervention after she returned home from a shoot and he entered rehab in October 2006. He has remained sober ever since. "I was very, very blessed to have Nic call an intervention on me," he said. "I didn't give a shit about anything except turning a corner in my life and doing whatever it took for that.”

Urban recalled being so dedicated to his sobriety while in rehab that even the accolades of fame meant nothing to him. “I remember having been in rehab a few weeks, and the CMAs happened. I forgot they were on,” he said. “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."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.