The former Chelsea star says he was unfairly portrayed as greedy and a "cheat," and also confirmed he turned down offers from MLS.
Ashley Cole is looking forward to shaking off his "money-grabber" image after moving to Roma from Chelsea.
The former England international moved the Serie A runner-up on a two-year deal earlier this month after a trophy-laden eight seasons at Stamford Bridge.
The left back's supreme talent has seen him win three Premier League titles and the 2012 Champions League, as well as seven FA Cup medals — more than any other player.
But for much of his time in the Premier League, Cole was an unpopular figure with the wider public, thanks to several off-the-field controversies and the perception that he left Arsenal for Chelsea for financial gain.
Having grown tired of the negative press in his homeland, Cole is looking forward to a fresh start in Italy.
He told Roma Channel: "I'm not the guy that people think. If you ask my friends and my family they know me as a kind, caring and considerate guy. I've made mistakes like anyone else but I'm kind of shy and try to keep myself to myself.
"In England it’s kind of hard with the press, it's different to here but this was another reason why I came here — to get away from that. It was kind of jarring in the end that everyone thought of me as a money-grabber, cheat or not a nice guy overall which is totally the opposite of what I am."
Cole also confirmed he rejected offers from MLS in order to join Roma, which finished 17 points behind champion Juventus last season.
"It was the ambition of the club," he said of his decision to move to the Stadio Olimpico. "It's a big club. They came second last year. When I spoke to the manager, the desire they showed to win the Scudetto was something that I wanted to be part of.
"I had a few offers from lower-league teams, a few in America, but I'm not ready to give up and just enjoy the life and sit on a beach — I'm here to win. I've had a lot of success in my career and I don't want to stop. I'm 33 and getting older, yes, but the determination and the desire to fight is still there."