Johnny Depp has denied being a violent man and said the reaction to his ex-wife's abuse allegations turned him "from Cinderella into Quasimodo".
In his first interview about his "volatile" marriage to Amber Heard, the actor told GQ magazine that past three years have "felt like a perverse situation that was inﬂicted on me."
He said he could feel people looking at him differently after the actress alleged he "violently attacked" her in their Los Angeles penthouse, which he firmly denied, according to the Daily Mail.
Also in the extraordinary interview, Depp accused Hollywood "power-mongers" of "trying to shut him up" and said he is prepared to quit if what he calls a conspiracy against him continues.
But he insisted that ultimately the truth "will come out" and his reputation as a Hollywood hero will be restored.
Depp and 32-year-old actress Heard divorced in January 2017 after she applied for a domestic violence restraining order the year before.
She claimed the couple had an explosive row and he threw and iPhone in her face, bruising her eye and cheek.
Explaining his side of the story for the first time, Depp told GQ: "It hurts. The thing that hurt me is being presented as something that you're really as far away from as you could possibly get, you know? But to... To harm someone you love? As a kind of bully? No, it didn't, it couldn't even sound like me.
"So, initially, I just kept my mouth shut, you know? I knew it was going to stick on me and it would get weirder. Keep going, you know? Go nuts. I ain't going to get into a pissing contest with someone about it. Spit out what you need to spit out and, you know, my attorneys will take care of the rest. I never went out and spoke about the sh*t."
The Pirates of the Caribbean star said he felt his reputation crumbling beneath him as his failing marriage became increasingly public.
Comparing his fall from grace to the plight of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame protagonist, he said: "Listen, I know I was never going to be Cinderella – I know this and accept it.
"But it felt like within a very, very short period of time that suddenly this version – for lack of a better word – of Cinderella had been immediately turned into the beast. He's Quasimodo. I could feel people look at me differently, because of the accusations towards you.
"And then people start putting things in magazines: 'He's insane. He needs to take a sanity test...' You know, ludicrous stuff. But the only thing that I could do was know what I still know."
After the US$5.5million divorce, Depp was sued by his managers for US$18million over an unpaid loan. Management Group claimed he blew his US$500million fortune on luxury homes, private jets and a £23,000-a-month wine habit.
He was also sued by his former lawyer who claimed he failed to pay legal bills and, more recently, by a crew member of his yet-to-be-released film, City Of Lies, who accused him of 'forcefully punching' him in a drunken row, which Depp denies.
"Big money was being thrown about," the 55-year-old said. "People suing me at every opportunity. I mean, it's all so obvious."
In an echo of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's words at his Senate hearing last week, Depp called the Hollywood film industry "this vile f****** circus."
He accused Hollywood power-mongers of "trying to shut him up" and said he is prepared to quit if he has to.
"I know the truth and if I had to walk away from all of it today, the job, the career, all of it, and go toodle-oo, then ﬁne."
But Depp insisted his reputation will one day be restored: "Ultimately, the truth will come out in all of this and I will be standing on the right side of the roaring rapids."
Depp, who will next month appear as dark wizard Grindelwald in JK Rowling's Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts, was accused of violence against Heard in May 2016.
In a restraining order request, Heard alleged that Depp "violently attacked" her in their Los Angeles penthouse apartment and threw a cellphone that struck her in the face with "extreme force".
Photos later emerged of Heard with bruises on her face - but Depp claimed she was lying and denied ever hurting her.
Depp's two children with French actress Vanessa Paradis - model Lily-Rose, 19, and John, 16 - both supported him in the face of Heard's allegations.
The pair reached an out-of-court settlement and Heard withdrew her claims.
They released a joint statement, saying: "Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm."