Actor Matthew Fox has opened up about his 2011 assault drama, insisting he was actually trying to defend himself from a drunken reveller.

Driver Heather Bormann launched a legal battle against Fox, claiming he assaulted her while trying to board a party bus in Cleveland, Ohio.

She has since dropped her lawsuit, and now Fox is using appearances and interviews to promote new film Alex Cross to address the allegations that were levelled against him.

He recently told Men's Fitness magazine he has "never hit a woman before," but accepts, "there's still gonna be a lot of people out there who'll think it's true no matter what."

And now, in a pre-taped interview with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, which will air in America on Wednesday (17Oct12), he goes further, adding, "I was actually sucker punched in the face by a man and I retaliated against the man that sucker punched me in the face. A fight broke out and she (Bormann) was a woman that was in proximity to that, and she decided that she was going to write up a different version of events that happened that night."

He insists Bormann never had a case against him: "It went into, first, a criminal case, because she alleged that I hit her. The prosecutors in Cleveland took about six seconds to see that it was a hoax and threw that out.

"But then it moved into a civil case and we had to depose witnesses and find the truth and it took quite a long time. So now it's in the past and the case was dismissed and now I can finally speak my side of the story for the first time."

Fox adds, "When you’re involved in a criminal and a civil case you're advised not to speak about these things because they’re trying to find the truth and depose witnesses. I also find that it's just a little undignified to respond to people who make allegations that are so outlandish.

"I was going to let the courts resolve it on that end and then I know there would be a time down the road where I got (sic) an opportunity to tell the truth."