Keith Urban Praises Wife, Thanks Fans for Rehab Support


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Keith Urban praised his wife, Nicole Kidman, and thanked his fans for their support during his three-month stay at a rehab center for alcohol abuse treatment, in a video posted on his Web site.

Urban entered the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Oct. 19 for what he thought would be a 30-day stay.

The 39-year-old country singer, who has publicly acknowledged a former addiction to cocaine, said he decided to stay for three months because he realized that learning to abstain was only part of the process to recovery.

"Learning about abstinence was one thing, but then there was all this other area of my life to start learning about, and so 30 days became 60, and 60 days became 90, and with each week that passed I found myself really learning how to surrender," he said.

Urban said the time he chose to enter rehab was "far from ideal."

He missed the release of his latest album, "Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing," and wasn't present to accept his second male vocalist of the year honor at the Country Music Association Awards.

"There was no big cataclysmic event that happened right before I went in," Urban said. "It was a lot of small things that were happening in my life, a lot of small moments that were starting to accumulate that were telling me very loud and clear that I was a long way from my program of recovery, and they were making my life unmanageable."

His message, recorded Thursday, was posted Monday.

Urban thanked fans for supporting him with hundreds of cards, letters and e-mails.

"It helped so much. Especially through a lot of the lonely days, which there was plenty of those in there," he said.

"But my wife stayed extraordinarily strong and loving, and my friends and family were there, and man, it's just been really overwhelming. I feel so much gratitude, and it feels really good to have gone through it and be where I am right now."

Urban and Kidman, also 39, were wed last June in Australia, where both grew up. They live in Nashville.