In an exclusive interview with ‘Closer Weekly,’ on newsstands now, Jonathan Bricklin reveals it was never easy living in his ex Susan Sarandon’s shadow.

Jonathan, who is 31 years younger than his Academy Award–winning ex, tells ‘Closer,’ “Anytime we went to a red carpet event, I would literally sneak around the back, because it felt like Susan was so distinguished and accomplished, and who am I to be photographed with her?”

susan sarandon and jonathan bricklin

Susan and Jonathan in June 2013.

Jonathan tells ‘Closer’ exclusively, “I was going to all these Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremonies for her, and it was like, ‘When is my life going to start?’”

Related: Susan Sarandon’s Ex Boyfriend Second Guesses Their Relationship on New Reality Show

Before the split, Jonathan took the opportunity to participate in a new AOL reality series, ‘Connected,’ in an attempt to have a project of his own. Unfortunately, the reality show involved Susan and their personal life together. “It was a nuisance and irritating to Susan, because she treasures her privacy,” admits Jonathan.

susan sarandon and jonathan bricklin

Susan and Jonathan on AOL’s ‘Connected.’

This new reality show along with other factors led Susan to her decision to take a break from their relationship. “She was the one who decided they needed to take a break from each other,” a friend tells ‘Closer.’ “She’s strong, independent and doesn’t really need a man in her life.”

Although the couple are not together now, there’s no bad blood. Jonathan explains, “Honest to God, I love her so much, and I have so much respect for her — and I think she feels exactly the same way about me — that one way or another, we are going to figure out a new type of relationship or friendship.”

For the full interview with Jonathan, pick up the latest issue of ‘Closer Weekly,’ on newsstands now!