Kris Humphries "didn't want to leave" the house after splitting from Kim Kardashian West.
The basketball player got married to the 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' star in August 2011 but she filed for divorce just 72 years later and the sportsman admitted he was "naive" about the impact the high-profile relationship would have on his life, but insisted it was always "100% real".
In an essay for The Players' Tribune titled 'I Never Wanted to Be That Guy', he wrote: "Look, I should have known what I was getting into. I was definitely naive about how much my life was going to change. But the one thing that really bothers me is whenever people say that my marriage was fake."
The 34-year-old star admitted it "sucked" when his marriage broke down and he lived in fear of how he'd be treated if he went out in public, slumping into a "dark place".
He wrote: "When it was clear that it wasn't working ... what can I say? It sucked.
"It's never easy to go through the embarrassment of something like that -- with your friends, with your family.... But when it plays out so publicly, in front of the world, it's a whole other level. It was brutal
"I'll be honest, I dealt with a lot of anxiety, especially in crowds. There was about a year where I was in a dark place. I didn't want to leave my home. You feel like ... I don't know ... the whole world hates you, but they don't even know why. They don't even know you at all. They just recognise your face, and they're on you."
And the former NBA star admitted he worried he would be "disrespecting the game of basketball" if he spoke out to defend himself.
He continued: "I didn't want to be Kris Humphries. It's the craziest feeling in the world, not wanting to be yourself. And I didn't even want to say anything to defend myself, because it felt like I couldn't win. You can't go up against the tabloids. You can't go up against that machine. There's no point. And even if I played that game, I felt like it would be disrespecting the game of basketball."