It was on the eve of their 2013 tour when Richie Sambora took an abrupt leave of absence from Rock N Roll and walked away from Bon Jovi. That decision to take care of his daughter Ava would end up proving to be the right course of action according to Sambora. "It wasn't a popular decision by any means, obviously, but there was really almost no choice about it," he said in a new video at People. "I'm really glad I did it. It's certainly worked out for our family. (Ex wife) Heather [Locklear] is doing very, very well now, and Ava's doing phenomenally."
A close family member friend told People Magazine in October after the family celebrated Ava's 23rd Birthday and graduated from Loyola Marymount University earlier this year, "It was the right decision to step off the stage to be a full-time father," explained the source. "At the end, he was suffering being on the road so much. Richie has no regrets about leaving the band."
Today, the guitarist says he has "an amazing relationship with my daughter. I'm very, very proud of her and the way she turned out. She's an amazing young woman with a bright future. She's just dedicated to being a good person. and she is"
Sambora also stated that taking the break has also allowed him to become a better musician. "I practice more now than I did since I was a kid," he said. "I'm continuing to teach myself a lot of different things. I'm writing crazily and it's going well. I'm writing with a lot of other artists besides myself and playing piano better than I've ever played. Just taking the time to try to get better at everything."
While Sambora and Locklear's relationship squabbles made headlines, they resumed contact in 2016. Since then the guitarist has rejoined his old band for it's Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction.