Robbie Williams was having suicidal thoughts before checking himself into a rehab clinic in the US on Tuesday, close friends have reportedly said.

According to the Mirror, the singer is battling dependence on prescription drugs such as painkiller Vicodin, a rug that Courtney Love and Friends star Matthew Perry have also been addicted to.

Robbie’s friends say the singer has become increasingly reclusive in recent times and it took some three hours to get him to answer his door in LA after they became concerned for his state of mind.

Meanwhile, his mother Jan said: “I have known about Robbie’s problems for some time and it has been very worrying.

“But from a mother’s point of view, going into rehab is the best birthday gift he could have given himself.”

Robbie’s being treated at the £20,000 30-day programme at The Meadows Centre in Arizona.