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Jon Bon Jovi Reveals Why He's 'Not in Contact' with Former Bandmate Richie Sambora

Both Jon and Sambora will appear in the upcoming Hulu docuseries 'Thank You Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story'

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty; Emma McIntyre/Getty</p> Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi

Kevin Mazur/Getty; Emma McIntyre/Getty

Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi is speaking out on the status of his relationship with longtime friend and former bandmate Richie Sambora.

Sambora, 64, famously left Bon Jovi in the midst of the band’s world tour in 2013 for personal reasons — and 11 years later, frontman Bon Jovi, 62, says the two do not speak.

“We’re not in contact because he’s not in the organization any longer,” the rocker told Ultimate Classic Rock. “[That] doesn’t mean that there’s not love forever, but it’s 11 years ago that he just didn’t show up anymore. And there were emotional issues that he was dealing with as a single dad, and there were substance abuse issues that, you know… Phil X had to show up one time, and then Phil X had to show up another time. And then, again, there’s a show that night. What are we gonna do?”


Both Bon Jovi and Sambora are set to appear in the upcoming docuseries Thank You Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, premiering on Hulu next month in conjunction with the band’s 40th anniversary. Still, the “Livin’ on a Prayer” singer says he and Sambora, a childhood friend, did not work on the film together at all.

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty; Emma McIntyre/Getty</p> Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi

Kevin Mazur/Getty; Emma McIntyre/Getty

Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi

“Not a word. That was [director] Gotham Chopra. This wasn’t a puff piece and this was no bulls—,” he told the outlet. “This is not us behind the scenes pulling strings. Oh no, no, no. They interviewed Richie in London. I wasn’t there. I had nothing to do with it. No, I still haven’t seen the [finished] product.”

Though Sambora told PEOPLE in November that a reunion with his former band “definitely could happen,” the guitarist had to skip the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year ceremony honoring Bon Jovi in February.

Related: Richie Sambora Says Bon Jovi Reunion Tour 'Definitely Could Happen': 'Just a Question of When' (Exclusive)

<p>Dave Hogan/Getty </p> Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi in 1995.

Dave Hogan/Getty

Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi in 1995.

A source told PEOPLE at the time that Sambora's 89-year-old mother had “tripped on her carpet” and broken her hip, and that he was home in New Jersey taking care of her.

"She didn't want to stay in the hospital, so he got her 24-hour care. He's an only child and a devoted son," the source said. "They're first-generation immigrants, so family is very important to him."

After 30 years as lead guitarist of Bon Jovi, Sambora abruptly left the band in 2013 in the middle of the Because We Can world tour.

Jesse Grant/Getty Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi in 2012.
Jesse Grant/Getty Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi in 2012.

Related: Richie Sambora Opens Up About Controversial Decision to Leave Bon Jovi: 'My Daughter Needed Me Around'

“It wasn’t a popular decision by any means, obviously, but there was really almost no choice about it. I had a lot of conscious work to do around [my personal life],” he told PEOPLE in 2021. “I had people around me that loved me, and it was a good thing I got through it… I realized [daughter] Ava needed me to be around at that point in time. Family had to come first, and that’s what happened.”

Bon Jovi himself relayed the story to PEOPLE in 2016, saying that there was “no fight or money issues" involved in his departure.

“Nobody expected Richie to quit in the middle of the night for no reason. He wasn’t fired; he just didn’t come to work,” he said. “I’m never going to bad mouth the guy. He’s a wonderful friend, wonderful collaborator.”

On Thursday, Bon Jovi announced its upcoming 16th studio album, Forever, will be released on June 7.

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Read the original article on People.