SYDNEY (Reuters) - Oscar-winning Australian actress Nicole Kidman is pregnant and has pulled out of shooting her next film "The Reader" with her baby expected around mid-2008.
"Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban confirmed today that they are expecting a baby," Kidman publicist Wendy Day said in a statement released on Tuesday. "The couple are thrilled."
Kidman, 40, has been pregnant once before with then-husband Tom Cruise but suffered a miscarriage. Kidman and Cruise adopted two children, Isabella and Connor.
Leaving a Sydney restaurant with her husband Urban on Tuesday, Kidman said she felt "very excited." Asked if she was having a boy or a girl, the statuesque actress said "secret."
Rumors of Kidman's pregnancy have circulated for a few weeks, with reports she told her family over Christmas holidays in Australia that she was expecting.
"Very pleased, really pleased indeed, nothing else would make me come out straight from the pool onto the front door step," Kidman's mother Janelle told local television from the door of her Sydney home. "I think it's (expected) in July," she said.
Publicist Day, a close personal friend, said she had only learnt on Tuesday morning of the pregnancy.
"For years I've seen speculation and for years it's never been right, so I didn't think it was right this time," Day told local media. "And then she's just rung this morning."
"I personally didn't know, so I'm excited today, very excited," Day told Australian Associated Press.
Kidman married New Zealand-born country music singer Urban in Sydney in 2006.
Grammy-winning Urban spent two months in a rehab centre after the wedding, but did not disclose the nature of his treatment. He has acknowledged an addiction to cocaine in the past and credits Kidman with seeing him through his crisis.
For most of 2007, Kidman was in Australia filming Baz Luhrmann's big-budget epic "Australia" with Hugh Jackman. She plays an English aristocrat who inherits a massive cattle station in outback Australia prior to World War Two.
In early 2008 Kidman was due to start filming the post-World War Two drama "The Reader," directed by Stephen Daldry who made "The Hours" which won Kidman her 2003 best actress Oscar.
She has withdrawn from "The Reader" due to her pregnancy.
"I understand she's had to withdraw from the film and therefore she's had to give them the reason, and therefore she's now able to confirm that she's pregnant," said Day.
"I don't know how far pregnant she is, or when the baby's due. She just simply rang me and said, 'Wendy I always told you I would tell you first, and I'd confirm it and you could make the appropriate announcement'," said Day.
"So I guess that statement ends all the Rumors and ... I guess the poor girl will be hounded by paparazzi and all that."
A pack of media was camped on Tuesday outside Kidman's Darling Point residence in Sydney's eastern suburbs, as flowers were delivered to the expectant parents.
Kidman's big-budget fantasy "The Golden Compass," now in cinemas, has been an international hit with worldwide sales to date of about $300 million.
Kidman is one of Hollywood's top actresses, but says for the moment her marriage to Urban takes priority over her career.
Kidman, who says she "spontaneously" chooses most of her roles, has had some recent high-profile flops, such as "The Stepford Wives" (2004) "Bewitched" (2005) and "The Invasion" (2007).
She says earning a high salary for a big film lets her pick smaller art house films that she wants to do such as "Margot at the Wedding," released in late 2007.
Reporting by Michael Perry; editing by Roger Crabb