By Ned Ehrbar

(CBS NEWS) – Nicole Kidman raised eyebrows at the Oscars with her unusual approach to applause, but now she’s set the record straight as to what was behind the seal-clapping.

READ MORE: Serinda Swan On Her Character Dr. Jenny Cooper In The CW's 'Coroner': 'The Humanity Seen In Jenny Is Really Resonating With People'
Nominee for Best Supporting Actress in "Lion" Nicole Kidman (C), her husband Australian singer Keith Urban (R) and nominee for Best Supporting Actress in "Hidden Figures" Octavia Spencer applaud as tourists are brought into the Oscars as a surprise at the 89th Oscars on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. / AFP / Mark RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

89th Annual Academy Awards (credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

During last month’s Academy Awards, Kidman was spotted clapping with just the heels of her palms, her fingers spread out far from each other and never making contact. In another clip that went viral, it appeared her hands weren’t touching at all as she feigned applause.

But as Oscar-winner Kidman — who was a nominee that night for her role in “Lion” — explained to an Australian radio station, it was all to protect the expensive jewelry she’d been loaned for the event.

Kidman was wearing 119 carats worth of diamonds on loan from Harry Winston at the ceremony, including a massive ring.

READ MORE: Amy Smart On 'DC's Stargirl': 'It's Pure Entertainment'

“It was really awkward,” she said when asked about the seal-clapping by KIIS FM hosts Kyle and Jackie O earlier this week. “I was like, ‘Gosh, I want to clap. I don’t want to not be clapping’ — which would be worse, right? ‘Why isn’t Nicole clapping?’”

“So therefore I’m clapping, but it was really difficult because I had a huge ring on that was not my own, so it was absolutely gorgeous and I was terrified of damaging it,” she explained. “It’s like, is there not more important things to be focused on than the seal clap?”

MORE NEWS: Penn Jillette On Looking Forward To Getting Back On Stage Post-COVID: 'I Love Doing Shows, It's Really Been My Whole Life'
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.