Nicole Kidman: “I Wasn’t Able to Handle the Reality of Life” After Tom Cruise Split

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
Nicole Kidman reflects on her split from Tom Cruise -- watch her get candid Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Despite her status as one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies — with an Oscar to prove it — a breakup was still a breakup for Nicole Kidman. The Grace of Monaco star admitted during the Women In the World Summit at Cadogan Hall in London on Friday, Oct. 9, that she felt the “loneliest” she’s ever been following her 2001 split from ex-husband Tom Cruise.

After Kidman and Cruise, who were married for 10 years, pulled the plug on their marriage, Kidman went on to win an Oscar in 2003 for her role in The Hours, making her the first Australian to win an Oscar for Best Actress. But Kidman couldn’t relish in her success.

“To be completely honest, I was running away from my life at that time. I wasn't able to handle the reality of my life,” she candidly told the crowd. “As an actor, the wonderful thing is you can become something else for a time. Out of that came work that was applauded so that was an interesting thing for me.” 

But in reality, Kidman soon realized she couldn’t hide in her characters, intense and varied as they were.

“I embraced my own life, which took a number of years…That culminated in winning an Oscar and that caused an epiphany — this is not the answer. I was sitting in the Beverly Hills Hotel with a gold statue and I was the loneliest I'd ever been. I was jolted out of the idea that ‘this is gonna heal me.’”

Kidman said that, in order to regain herself and her happiness, she “slowed down.”

“I did a lot of reading and a lot of talking, I managed through about five or six years and then I stumbled into Keith,” she added, before gushing about her current husband, country singer Keith Urban.

“We got married very quickly and we got to know each other when we were married,” she recalled of their 2006 nuptials. “I wanted a partner and someone to share my life. I wanted more children. That's happened for me. It's not through just luck. I was open to it and willing to change and welcome the change I got to have a child when I was 41 and then we had a surrogate.”

Kidman and Cruise are parents to Isabella, 22, and Connor, 20. Kidman and Urban share daughters Sunday, 7, and Faith, 4.

“That love is so perfect,” she concluded of motherhood. “Once you have that child you think: Ah, I'm willing to die for this person and that changes everything.” 

Kidman’s eldest child, Bella, married boyfriend Max Parker in a secret wedding last month, Us Weekly previously confirmed.

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