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December 27, 2020

Here's What Richie Sambora Said about Leaving Bon Jovi Because Daughter Ava Needed Him

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In a recent interview, Richie Sambora discussed the controversial decision he made to leave Bon Jovi. The band's lead guitarist said that his daughter needed him around.

Richie Sambora has spoken out about his controversial decision to leave Bon Jovi in 2013 during a recent interview with PEOPLE. He just prioritized his relationship with his daughter Ava.

"It wasn't a popular decision by any means, obviously, but there was really almost no choice about it," the 61-year-old said. "I had a lot of conscious work to do around [my personal life]."

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Sambora, who started playing guitar when he was a young boy, noted that the family had been through a lot together and that it was a time of psychological maintenance. 

"You know, I ain't no angel," the rock star continued. "But I realized, Ava needed me to be around at that point in time. Family had to come first, and that's what happened."

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Sambora said the rock and roll lifestyle eventually caught up with him. While touring with Bon Jovi, he would regularly fly home for short visits rather than remain on location.

Sambora said he loves the bond he shares with Ava more than anything. He shares the 23-year-old with actress Heather Locklear, who is best known for her role on "Melrose Place." 

Sambora publicly struggled with substance abuse for years before abruptly leaving the band in 2013.

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Sambora said that once he settled into a normal lifestyle in California, his bond with Ava deepened. The two have now mostly stayed close to home. Ava is currently preparing for graduate school.

Sambora publicly struggled with substance abuse for years before abruptly leaving the band in 2013. Jon Bon Jovi spoke with USA TODAY earlier this year about Sambora's exit.

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He endured a number of trends professionally and even had to mourn the loss of a bandmate who was just incapable of keeping up anymore, Bon Jovi said, adding that it was hard.

Bon Jovi, the founder of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, continued that he last spoke to Sambora during the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2018.

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Meanwhile, the 58-year-old rocker also recounted during an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music how he and Sambora primarily wrote one early album at his house.

He said they each worked on some of the lyrics and some of the music. Bon Jovi also clarified that there was "no animus" between him and Sambora, and they did not fight over anything.

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