The guitarist took on singing duties to replace the group's former frontman when he was let go from the band and sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work in July 2020, after pleading guilty to assaulting his now-spouse, Vikki Ager, during an incident in April that year.
He told The Guardian newspaper: "The summer when Tom left was absolutely heartbreaking.
"It felt like leaving home and coming back and seeing it burnt down, walking round the ashes, seeing old pictures and artefacts and picking things up and sifting through the destruction. It was an intense time.”
The 41-year-old musician admitted it "amazes" him that fans had such "strong" opinions on the decision to sack Meighan from the group.
He added: "It always amazes me how strong people’s opinions are when they don’t know anything about the actual truth.
“There’s way more to it. Who in their right mind would sack a frontman if there wasn’t cause?
“Over the years, there have been some tough moments. I don’t want to go into them because I feel like that’s the band’s business.”
Serge noted he hadn't spoken to his former bandmate since their post-trial meeting, but he insisted all the group "ever wanted was for him to be happy".
Referencing his solo career, he said: "So if he's happy doing that, then great."
Meanwhile, Meighan - who revealed his first solo track since leaving the band back in October - said at the time that he understands why losing his career has been a "consequence" of his actions while admitting he's "conflicted" about cancel culture.
He wrote: "If someone feels cancelled, sometimes all you end up doing is pushing their problem into the shadows. It’s just another form of bullying, because you’re not helping them or showing them how to change.
"I agree with consequence culture. It’s important to suffer consequences because of your actions.
"To be given the chance to look deep within yourself and learn how to make changes and to become a better person for yourself and your family has to be a good thing.
"If the consequence of what I did is that I lose my career, I accept that. My career is superficial and it has a shelf life. Breaking the stigma of domestic abuse will not happen if it continues to be treated lightly."
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