Following Jon Bon Jovi's recent remarks insinuating that Richie Sambora's life remains in disarray since quitting the band, the former Bon Jovi guitarist has answered back.

Earlier this month, while promoting the band's new 2020 album with Germany's Rock Antannae, Bon Jovi went so far as to claim that Sambora's life is in disarray — as well as surmising that the band might've fallen prey to “laziness” had Sambora not bailed in 2013, saying, “Y'know, there's not a day that goes by that I don't wish that Richie had his life together and was still in the band. And, yet, y'know, in a weird way, it's because of his inability to get it together anymore. . . I'm able to write songs like this. Maybe we would've gotten lazy. I don't know where we would've gone. But, through all that pain and heartbreak came this.”

In an exclusive interview with Daily Mail TV, Richie Sambora spoke candidly about his decision to leave the band to care for his and ex-wife Heather Locklear's now-23-year-old daughter Ava, saying, “Obviously it hurts and y'know, breaking up is hard to do. I was in a situation and it was not easy to make that decision to leave the band and the fans. I was in a dire situation with my family and I had to make a tough decision and I did and I'm sure people weren't happy about it.”

Sambora chuckled; when he added, “When people say I don't have my life together — are you kidding me? I'm the happiest dude on the block.”

Regarding his relationship with Jon Bon Jovi, Sambora explained, “We've had our ups and downs throughout the years as any married couple have. Jon and I spent more time together than we spent with our families because him and I wrote the songs. But as you see now, my daughter just graduated on the dean's list from LSU as a psychology major and she's gone on to grad school now. And so and it's just, y'know, she and I have just been really fantastic and we just have a great relationship.”

When pressed about his thoughts about reuniting with Bon Jovi, Sambora said: “It would have to be a special situation for me to go back, but I'm certainly not counting it out. I have no malice toward that band.”

He was asked about his relationship with his former wife, actress Heather Locklear, who's endured a very public battle to regain her sobriety: “I love Heather now more than when we first met. We still maintain a friendship and realize that we are definitely bound by blood and family. Whatever I had to do to support her, I did.”

Back when we last caught up with Richie Sambora, we asked him if there was anything going on between him and the Bon Jovi camp these days: “Not really, y’know? There’s just nothing happening at this point. Y’know, being in a band for 30 years, there’s a specific frame. I mean, the last tour was, like, 19-and-a-half months, 52 countries and 16 months before that. . . I mean, there are only two bands in the history of rock n’ roll that had back to back big tours back and forth; Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi. You miss a lot of life when you’re out there for so long. And my daughter needed me and I needed her and I didn’t have anything to contribute after 30 years at that particular point. I’m not saying it’s not gonna happen ever.”

AUDIO: RICHIE SAMBORA ON HIS BON JOVI SPLIT