"When you get married, you're forced to drink the milk long after it's spoiled," the designer, 33, tells Giant magazine for its June/July 2008 issue.
Simmons – who in March filed for divorce from her husband of 10 years, Russell Simmons – is now dating actor-model Djimon Hounsou, and is never one to shy away from knocking down tabloid talk when it comes to her personal life.
"I hear the craziest things, like, 'She has to have a champagne glass filled within a quarter inch of the lip,' " says Simmons, who dismisses any notion that she might be an "extreme diva."
"The reality, is I'm a dedicated mother [to daughters Ming Lee, 8, and Aoki Lee, 5] and a very kind, funny and hardworking person," she says. "My reality-TV show helps to shed a bit of light, but even that's glamorized."
Ultimately, she says, she doesn't care what others think of her, though "sometimes people who don’t know me say really cruel things that are way off base. But you can't care too much about what people think of you. You have to establish your own set of core values and live by them"
And those core values? "Honor, respect, tenacity, intelligence and humor," she says, adding, "Do your best, and live with the repercussions of your choices – good or bad."