The two ended their 14-year relationship in June 2012. They share two children: Lily-Rose, 14, and Jack, 11.
"The last couple years have been a bit bumpy," Depp said. "At times, certainly unpleasant. But that's the nature of breakups, I guess, especially when there are kiddies involved.
"You can't plan the kind of deep love that results in children. Fatherhood was not a conscious decision. It was part of the wonderful ride I was on. It was destiny; kismet."
This is the first time the "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor has spoken about the breakup, which came after their acting careers had them living apart for months at a time. They were not seen together in public after 2010.
Depp, 50, said he will always be close to Paradis, especially because of the children. The children were also his reason not to turn to drinking during the split.
"In terms of the breakup, I definitely wasn’t going to rely on the drink to ease things or cushion the blow or cushion the situation," Depp said. Neither has told the real reason for their split, and Paradis said she never will.
Since the split, Depp has been seeing actress Amber Heard, while Paradis has been linked to Benjamin Biolay, former French first lady Carla Bruni's ex-boyfriend.