(AP Photo/Dan Steinberg) / AP

“Enough with the trash-talking — Jon needs to stop talking about me publicly,” Sambora told the Daily Mail on Wednesday. “I am fine, working very hard on my fashion company, Nikki Rich, and this is a private matter.”

“Just to be clear, I’ve been running the fashion company for five years,” Sambora tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “It does not take me away from the band, I’m an artist first. Always will be.”

Richie Sambora on Bon Jovi Split: ‘Enough With the Trash Talking’
by Jeff Giles

After laying low for a few weeks, Richie Sambora has decided to speak up about his recent departure from the Bon Jovi lineup — and it sounds like fans may need to start preparing for the possibility that he may never return.

Sambora knows there’s been a lot of speculation regarding his reasons for splitting during the band’s latest tour, and although he won’t specifically address what led to his departure, he sounded upbeat during an interview with the U.K.’s ‘Daily Mail.’ “I don’t have any major problems in life right now,” he insisted. “I love my fans, and I feel bad for them at the moment. Bottom line.”

Lack of major life problems notwithstanding, Sambora did allow that his relationship with longtime bandmate Jon Bon Jovi is currently strained. “My opinion is Jon wants to see if he can pull off stadiums by himself,” Sambora mused. “He is making it very difficult for me to come back.” Perhaps referencing Bon Jovi’s recent interview with the ‘London Evening Standard,’ he added a warning: “Enough with the trash talking! Jon needs to stop talking about me publicly.”

While the two work out whatever their differences are, Sambora insisted he’s keeping himself occupied with other business ventures. “I am fine working very hard on my fashion company Nikki Rich,” he concluded, “and this is a private matter.”

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