Jean-Claude Van Damme is convinced he was blacklisted in Hollywood after demanding millions for his movies to rival Jim Carrey's pay cheques.
The Belgian martial arts star was forced into an early retirement in the 1990s after he snubbed a major film deal in a bid to negotiate a more lucrative offer - only to have industry executives turn their back on him.
And he admits a haze of alcohol and excess kept him from realising his error.
Appearing on U.K. TV show Jean-Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors, he recalls, "After the movie Timecop, I received a huge offer for a three-picture deal and it was 12 million dollars per picture. That's 36 million dollars. I was wasted. I said, 'I want 20 million like Jim Carrey' and they hung up on me. I was not myself. I was completely f**ked up and I made a bad mistake and I was on the blacklist in Hollywood for years."
Now the action star is turning down movie projects once again - so he can focus on training for his comeback fight against Thai boxer Somluck Kamsing in November (11).
He adds, "Slowly they want me back for making those theatrical movies but now I've decided to fight. If I win that fight, which will be exceptional, it will bring me another 10 years of health. It's like a repair. So I'm very happy today where I am."