Keith Urban has opened up about the recent incident in which his wife, national treasure Nicole Kidman, was rudely ‘swatted’ by a disgruntled opera patron’s program, revealing exactly what happened on that fateful night.

The pair were at the Sydney Opera House, attending a performance of The Merry Widow with Nicole’s mother Janelle when the swatting occurred. Keith Urban himself is not a big opera buff, and told Kyle & Jackie O this is where the problem started:

“We did not know you are not supposed to stand in the opera at the end of a performance. Having not been to the opera before ever in my life, I am sensitive to the etiquette.”

He went on to explain:

“So, we’re sitting down, we’re with Nic’s mum, and we’re clapping. It was a bloody great performance, so good, and I’m looking around and we’re cheering and cheering, everybody’s cheering, and then I look around and I see a few people standing and then a few more and I went ‘Oh, bloody hell. I’m getting up.’ So then I stood up and then this guy behind me just whacked Nic, like really hit her with the program.”

Nicole was shocked by the way the man hit her, and Keith Urban said he felt he was in a “pickle”, as he wanted to defend his wife, but didn’t want to physically accost the rogue patron:

“You want to be a man’s man, but you can’t throw a roundhouse kick and knock him out or anything like that. If you can’t stand, you definitely can’t do that. It took a lot of restraint. I was pretty upset. I just looked at him and said, ‘It’s a standing ovation.’ But, at the same time, I get it. I get that there’s this thing going on where there’s a traditional thing that says you don’t do that, and I respect that.”

Keith summoned his security team to escort Nicole and her mum out after the incident. Police later attended the Opera House and spoke to a 53-year-old man and a 67-year-old man, but no further action was taken.

Image: Getty Images / Axelle / Bauer-Griffin