A tearful LeAnn Rimes recently told Katie Couric that checking herself into rehab to treat stress and anxiety was the best birthday gift she could have ever given herself, mourned her "lost childhood" and opened up about her feelings about her and Eddie Cibrian's infamous cheating scandal.
The 30-year-old singer, a former child star, made on the talk show "Katie" in one of her most revealing and emotional interviews, which aired on Thursday, October 25. Additional footage from Couric's chat with Rimes is set to air on ABC's "20/20" special "All Access Nashville" on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
Check out 8 highlights from LeAnn Rimes' interview on "Katie."
1. She "fell in love" with rehab, which she called her best birthday gift ever, and made new friends.
"For myself, I think it was the best birthday gift I could ever give myself, to once again, be honest with myself and break down the things that I've struggled with for so long," Rimes told Couric. "I just didn't want to continue to struggle all the time and people look at you and go, 'Why are you struggling?' No one can quite understand why you hurt so badly."
She then became emotional and said, tearfully: "But I'm not going to cry."
Couric asked her why she hurts so badly.
"I wasn't a kid," Rimes said, tearfully. "It's as simple as that and so complicated at the same time. So if you have kids, you get to see your kids be kids, you know, and I didn't get any of those things so I feel like everything was kind of ripped from me and given to me and handed to me on a plate at the same time and so it's almost ... you struggle with why in the world, internally, you got why am I upset? why am I struggling? I needed to figure that out for myself."
She said she "fell in love" with the experience she had during rehab.
"I just loved being in that and it felt great to have other people going through the same things, have that empathy and understanding and to be there for someone else and have these people actually respect and love me for the help I gave them emotionally, not because of LeAnn Rimes, but I actually made wonderful friends, lifelong friends there, and all because of what we gave each other," she said. "It just felt so liberating to just say things that I could never say and know that I was safe."
2. She's angry about her "lost childhood."
The singer was born Margaret LeAnn Rimes in Star, Mississippi and her family later moved to Texas when she was about six. They were poor and lived in a trailer park. She began her music career when she was a child. She shot to fame when she was 13 after releasing her breakout hit, the 1997 single "How Do I Live."
When asked what she is angry about, Rimes told Couric: "I think it boils down to basically lost childhood. I didn't really have a childhood and as a kid I was always pretty much told, if anyone asked me that question, to say that I was fine."
"That's still that little girl inside of me that I've never quite developed, that I jumped over so many normal childhood experiences and became this adult very early on," she said. "So that part of me is like extremely developed. Then there's this little girl who never quite got the attention that she needed. I'm giving her, I guess, that attention now in the way that I know how to do it."
3. LeAnn Rimes' family was poor and used to live in a trailer. So she bought them a house.
When you start as a child, it's always about 'Get it while you can,'" she told Couric. "I didn't have a lot of money growing up at all. We had no money. ... We had nothing and I was able to buy a house for my family when I was 12, which is crazy to say."
"And it was also a crazy responsibility to have and sometimes I really want to just go back to the trailer," she added. "Honestly. I have pictures of myself when I was two, with bare feet and playing in the dirt, and it really was the happiest times of my life."
4. She once sued her own dad - for $7 million.
In 2000, at age 17, Rimes filed a lawsuit against her father, her former manager, claiming that he owed her $7 million. They reached a settlement but were estranged for years. They reconciled several years ago.
"You know what I realized about that - it wasn't about the money at all - it was about, I wanted my dad back," Rimes told Couric.
5. LeAnn Rimes calls herself "pathetic" in the song "Borrowed," which is about her cheating scandal.
Rimes and Cibrian went public with their romance back in 2009 after falling in love on the set of the Lifetime movie, "Northern Lights." At the time, Cibrian was still married to Brandi Glanville, now a cast member on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," while Rimes was married to Dean Sheremet. Rimes and Sheremet divorced in June 2010 while Cibrian and Glanville finalized their divorce in October 2010.
On her new album "Spitfire," the song "Borrowed" contains the lyric "I don't want to give you back" and deals with the "complicated" situation. Rimes performed the song at a concert in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in September, briefly leaving her 30-day inpatient program to treat stress and anxiety.
"This album was basically kind of an exploration of just who am I and why did I do the things that I've done and why have I made these choices?" Rimes told Couric. "There's a song called 'Borrowed' that I wrote on the record that I carried the title around with me for about eight months because I was so unsure of how to write it without offending anyone because I had to be so honest in order to write it."
"And I call myself 'pathetic' in the song because that's exactly the way I felt. It was just a pathetic situation. It's like, 'LeAnn, how did you get yourself into the situation?' Then there's this other side of me going, 'I love this man with all my heart and he loves me and this is so complicated and how did you get yourself into the situation?'"
Rimes and Cibrian moved in together in the summer of 2010 and got engaged in December 2010 when Cibrian proposed with a 5-carat diamond ring. The two wed on April 22, 2011 in a small ceremony in Malibu, California.
She also sings about her feelings about the cheating scandal in the song "What Have I Done."
"I made my choices. I made my choices and I'm living with them and I also have learned from them," Rimes told Couric. "And I've talked about this so much but I know - I'm not the only person who goes through this. There's so many that do and there's so much on the new album, there's so much that I do share about it."
6. She and Eddie Cibrian have talked about having kids.
Cibrian and Glanville have two sons, who live with him and Rimes half of the time.
"I have a really great partner-in-crime," the singer told Couric. "He's a sweetheart and he's really, he's so kind and loving to me. We have two wonderful kids of his half the time and I love them to death and that's taken on a whole other thing for me. They're 5 and 9 so I play referee most of the time, because they're both boys. But it's fun. It definitely keeps me grounded."
Rimes has no children of her own and told Couric that she would like to one day.
"I kid Eddie about it all the time," she said. "I'm like, 'Let's go. I would love to. I would love to have a child of my own but for now I'm totally, totally happy with having his running around and I love them to death. So yeah. Eventually, I think. We talk about it all the time."
7. She fires back at her critics in her new album's title track, "Spitfire."
Rimes took a lot of heat over her affair with Cibrian and like many celebrities, also deals with people insulting her online over many issues, namely her slim figure, which she has sometimes showcased via bikini photos she posts on Twitter.
The album's title track, "Spitfire," contains the line "You make me want to spit fire."
"It's all the critics," she told Couric. "I'm not sure why people are so harsh at this moment in time. And it's not everyone. I'm not going to say everyone, because I have a lot of wonderful fans and people who support me."
8. LeAnn Rimes feels she's "starting over" and is also grateful she still has fans.
"How Do I Live" was Rimes' most successful song, hitting No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She had several No. 1 albums and released other hit singles, such as "I Need You," "Looking Through Your Eyes" and "Can't Fight The Moonlight," which was featured, along with more of her tracks, on the soundtrack of the film "Coyote Ugly." She also had a cameo in the movie.
Her best-selling album is her debut record "Blue," which has sold more than 6 million copies in the United States since its 1996 release. Her most recent major record, her 13th studio album "Lady & Gentlemen," contains mostly covers and has sold less than 500,000 copies domestically.
"I feel like I'm starting over, even though I've had all of these years behind me. How many people get to start over again in this day and age?" Rimes told Couric. "I really do sit back and go, as a child star, to start as early as I did, most people, number one don't even live, as child stars ... this long and if they do, it's like, it's, people still aren't listening and it's so amazing to have people that are still listening."