Johnny Depp on "unpleasant" split with Vanessa Paradis

Actor Johnny Depp and singer Vanessa Paradis arrive at the 80th annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on Feb. 24, 2008, in Hollywood, Calif.
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Johnny Depp is commenting in-depth for the first time on his 2012 split (first reported by ET) from his longtime love and the mother of his two children, Vanessa Paradis, a breakup that he calls "unpleasant," and "hard on every side."

"The last couple years have been a bit bumpy. At times, certainly unpleasant, but that's the nature of breakups, I guess, especially when there are kiddies involved," Depp, who was with Paradis for 14 years, reveals in a wide-ranging new Rolling Stone profile.

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But just because he and Vanessa are no longer a couple doesn't diminish his respect for the mother of his children: "Relationships are very difficult," he tells the magazine. "Especially in the racket that I'm in, because you're constantly away or they're away, and so it's hard. It wasn't easy on her. It wasn't easy on me. It wasn't easy on the kids. So, yeah. The trajectory of that relationship -- you play it out until it goes, one thing leads to another. So for whatever reason that ceases, it doesn't stop the fact that you care for that person, and they're the mother of your kids, and you'll always know each other, and you're always gonna be in each other's lives because of those kids. You might as well make the best of it."

Depp says his love for he and Paradis' two kids, Lily-Rose, 14, and Jack, 11, made him want to stay sober through the breakup: "In terms of the breakup, I definitely wasn't going to rely on the drink ... I felt it was my duty to be real clear throughout that. I had something pretty serious to focus on, really, which was making sure that my kids were gonna be cool."

ET's First interview with Johnny Depp

And it sounds like he achieved that goal: "They've been incredibly understanding, incredibly strong throughout the whole ordeal. And it's hard on every side. You know, Vanessa's side, certainly not easy. My side, not easy. The kids are the most complicated. The thing is, kiddies come first. You can't shield them, because then you'd be lying. So you can at least be honest with your kids, and you say the absolute truth to your child -- that was very important to not pussyfoot around."

Depp also commented on his atypical-for-Hollywood low key style, recounting duct-taping a pair of pants before attending his son's school event: "There was this really long tear -- and there were no undergarments involved. ... I just immediately looked for duct tape. I know, it's pathetic. And then I continue to wear them."

Flashback: Johnny Depp likens his kids to drunks

On his glasses (he frequently dons a pair with a blue tint), they are prescription. "Everything is just very, very blurry," he says. "I've never had proper vision." In fact, the magazine reports that in films where Depp's character doesn't wear glasses, he can't see more than a few inches in front of his face.

And, is retirement in his future? In the interview, (done a few weeks shy of his June 9 birthday), Depp reports, "I'm kicking 50 right up the ass. ... I can't say that I'd want to be doing this for another 10 years."

But it's not happening anytime soon. He says, "I think while I've got the opportunity and the desire and the creative spark to do the things that I can do right now, I should do them. And then, at a certain point, just take it down to the bare minimum and concentrate on, I guess, living life. Really living life. And going somewhere where you don't have to be on the run, or sneak in through the kitchen or the underground labyrinth of the hotel. At a certain point, when you get old enough or get a few brain cells back, you realize that, on some level, you lived a life of a fugitive."

Check out the rest of Rolling Stone's in-depth conversation with Depp here. The actor is set to hit theaters as Tonto in "The Lone Ranger" on July 3.