Richie Sambora has insisted he had "no choice" but to leave Bon Jovi.

The 'Livin' on a Prayer' group's former guitarist quit in 2013 after 30 years in order to spend more time with his daughter Ava, now 24, his child from his marriage to Heather Locklear.

And although it "wasn't a popular decision" with his bandmates, he has admitted he was "needed" at home to work on some personal issues.

The 61-year-old musician - who has suffered from substance abuse in the past - told People: "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).

"We've been through a lot of things together. That was a time of psychological maintenance for the family. You know, I ain't no angel. But I realised, Ava needed me to be around at that point in time. Family had to come first, and that's what happened."

Richie is grateful that he was lucky enough to afford a private jet to take him back home whenever Ava needed him when he was on the road.

He said: "Luckily I was making enough money to be able to have a private plane ... and see my kid even if it was only for one day. If it was Halloween, it was boom, home."

His bandmate, Jon Bon Jovi, 58, recently opened up about the pain he felt after his friend and songwriting partner left the band.

He explained: "The departure of Richie, the booze and the drugs and that stuff, it broke my heart. I got through it with a lot of help, talking to people, reading books, and time. Time heals that kind of disappointment."