Vanessa Paradis Opens Up (a Little) after Johnny Depp Split

08/12/2012 at 02:00 PM EDT

Johnny Depp's Ex Vanessa Paradis Opens Up a Little After Split
Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp, in 2010
Hahn-Nebinger-Orban/Abaca

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

In her first interview since her split with Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis is asked about her longtime former partner.

The question triggers a rebuke.

"I don't want to talk about him," she tells the summer edition of French Elle while promoting her latest film, Cornouaille. "Who said that artists should sell their soul, expose everything about themselves? … It's my duty to promote this movie, and my albums, but can you imagine what it feels like to see people making a business out of your pain."

She adds: "What's happened to us is our concern."



But the actress/singer, 39, then opens up just enough to hint about her feelings after ending a 14-year relationship with the 49-year-old star.

"I don't have the recipe for happiness, but I think the engine is simply having the desire," she says. "It's not feeling obliged or forced or repeating yourself."

"I hate, for example, whenever you hear someone say: 'You have work at being a couple,'" she continues. "No, you have to want to be there."

"And for me, I want to be right where I am right now.'"

Paradise says she'll continue to divide her time between the United States and France, and their children, Lily-Rose, 14, and Jack, 10, will attend school in Los Angeles.

"My children are grown now, they are more independent," she says, noting that Lily-Rose is the same age as Paradis when she broke internationally as a pop singer. "My daughter loves singing above all else. Jack, he's a guitarist."

Will they follow in their parents' footsteps?

"I can tell you that if they decide to launch themselves into this kind of career it will be a good thing for music," says, but after hesitating adds, "For my part, although I do not regret what I did, I'd prefer that my daughter takes the time to learn, and, especially, to live her childhood thoroughly."

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