Nicole Kidman's Father Dies
updated 09/12/2014 AT 12:50 PM EDT
•originally published 09/12/2014 AT 08:00 AM EDT
According to reports. Dr. Kidman, a clinical psychologist at the Royal North Shore Hospital and a director of health psychology at the University of Technology, Sydney, was visiting Nicole's sister, Antonia Kidman, and her six children in Singapore when the accident occurred.
"Nicole and her family are in shock by the sudden death of her father. She appreciates the outpouring of support and kindly requests privacy during this very difficult time," Nicole's publicist and friend, Leslee Dart, said in a statement.
PEOPLE's sister publication in Australia, WHO, reported that Janelle Kidman, Dr. Kidman's wife and Nicole and Antonia's mother, was not in Singapore at the time. In addition, Nicole is currently in the U.S.
"This is devastating news," a family friend tells WHO. "Antony is incredibly close to both Nicole and Antonia. He was a rock to them all."
In addition to his psychology work, which brought him the Order of Australia in 2005, Dr. Kidman researched psycho-social implications suffered by those with breast cancer and other diseases.
He was also frequently interviewed on the topic of psychological health-related issues on Australian radio and TV and wrote for academic journals.
"It is with great sadness that we learn of Dr. Tony Kidman's sudden passing. During his 43 years at the University of Technology, Sydney, Tony has contributed greatly – as a colleague, as a researcher, and as a health practitioner," Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said in a statement. "Tony will be missed by all at UTS. Our thoughts are with his family at this time."
After her birth in Honolulu in 1967, Nicole Kidman and her parents moved to Sydney in the 1970s. Her mother, Janelle, was a nurse, and in January of this year, she and Dr. Kidman celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
In 2012, Nicole Kidman told WHO that her parents "are a huge part of my life," and cited them as the influence for her involvement in humanitarian efforts.
"I was raised to care about those things. They are both humanitarians and that sort of thing is very, very important in my family."
She was also especially proud of her father's "fantastic work with mental health."