Matthew McConaughey is a Hollywood star who often says that family is everything to him, which is why it’s come as a surprise to many fans to learn that after he first became famous, he did not talk to his mother Kay for eight years. In an interview with Howard Stern this week, McConaughey opened up about why this estrangement with his mother came about.

“I was calling my mom after that time when I had gotten famous needing to talk to my mom. Because [I was] trying to figure out, ‘Hey I’m a little unbalanced here. These things are going on. What do they mean?'” he said. “And my mom was not the only one on the phone. Most of the woman that was on the phone was a fan of my fame. And so I would have conversations and then all of a sudden, whoop, what we’d talk about would end up in the paper three days later. I was like, ‘Mom, that was between us… Don’t share that. This is a new thing. Loose lips can sink my ship.'”

Things got even worse when Kay gave a tour of his childhood home on television without his knowledge.

“There’s mom, giving somebody a tour through the house. ‘Here’s where I caught him with so-and-so in bed. Here’s where I saw him in the shower. Wonder what he was doing in there, haha,'” McConaughey said. “I call her up and I go, ‘Mom, what did you do?’ She goes, ‘What are you talking about?… I didn’t think you’d find out.’ I was like, ‘It’s national television, mom!'”

It was because of this that the actor said he went through a time when he “didn’t really share much with her.” Once McConaughey’s career finally settled, however, he was able to rebuild his relationship with his mother.

“She became a different person. Nobody is perfect… I’ve forgiven her. It wasn’t her fault. I just had to make some boundaries,” McConaughey said. “It was a strenuous relationship for eight years. We’re back completely now. Once I got my career sort of stable and fell to my feet, I let go of the reigns and said, ‘Go get it, mom. Whatever you want. There’s the camera.’ And she’s been awesome. She’s got incredible stuff to say and do. And I’m like, ‘Go for it.'”

“There was always forgiveness. I just tried to bide my time,” he continued. “It was a sad time… It was tough for eight years,  but we went through it and we’re on the other side of it. It’s good.”