The actor, who was married to the former "Friends" star from 2015 to 2017, admits he found it "irritating" that so many people were "curious" about his "private life" when he and one of the most famous women in the world were husband and wife.
"In ideal circumstances, you're known for what you do, or for the contributions you make in the arts, literature, movies, whatever. Even if it's a negative review, OK, that's fair play," he tells Rolling Stone. "But there are people who are only curious about the private lives of other people, and... I think the best thing to do is to train your eyes away from it. It creates a preconceived notion of who you are that's inaccurate."
"It's frustrating, because you think, 'Well, [novelist] John Updike doesn't have to put up with this s**t, and he's in the public eye.' "
Justin and Jennifer began dating in 2011, and when they revealed in early 2018 they had split several months previously, they acknowledged the public's fascination with their romance.
A joint statement released at the time read, "In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation. This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year. We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship."
"Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly. Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else's fictional narrative."
The couple has remained close since its split, and Justin recently said he "cherishes" his friendship with his ex, adding, "She makes me laugh very, very hard. She's a hilarious person. It would be a loss if we weren't in contact, for me personally. And I'd like to think the same for her."