Mick Mars warned his Motley Crue bandmates that he won't back down from their looming legal battle and claimed the rockers have been trying to oust him for decades.

The 71-year-old guitarist launched a lawsuit this week against Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Vince Neil, claiming they're ripping him off financially and trying to fully remove him from the band. Mars alleged they've denied him money to which he's entitled and offered him an insultingly low compensation package, then accused the band members of faking their performances on the 2022 Stadium Tour, his last outing before announcing his retirement from the road. Motley Crue promptly issued a rebuttal in which they called his lawsuit "unfortunate and completely off-base."

"Those guys have been hammering on me since '87, trying to replace me," Mars told Variety in a new interview. "They haven't been able to do that, because I'm the guitar player. I helped form this band." He added: "It just makes me really upset that they want to try and bully me more or less out of the band, so it's the last man standing that collects everything."

He also noted that he was the only band member with no criminal record. "I'm clean as a freshly washed baby. I haven't done anything. And these guys have all gone over the top — heroin addicts, on and on and on and on," he said. "What's the matter with you guys? You're the felons, not me."

Mars described his final run of Crue shows as "the worst 36 gigs [I] ever had with the band. It was 36 [instead of the originally scheduled 12] because they knew I wanted to retire from it after that. I don't know, and I can't say I positively know, but I have a pretty good feeling that they wanted me gone anyway. Because they've been wanting that since forever. It's just frustrating for me. I'm pretty upset that they're even pulling this crap, when I carried these bastards for years."

Sixx responded separately to the lawsuit on Twitter on Thursday night, suggesting that he, Neil and Lee were the ones doing the carrying. "Sad day for us and we don't deserve this, considering how many years we've been propping him up," the bassist wrote. "We still wish him the best and hope he finds lawyers and managers who aren't damaging him. We love you, Mick."

Despite the frustration and hurt feelings, Mars insisted he won't shy away from a fight. "I think that those guys are hoping that I'll just fold and lay down. Because I've done that many times. But this thing that I helped build for 41 years, I'm sorry, you're not gonna take that from me," he declared. "I worked very hard for that. It's mine. I'm keeping it. You can't have it. Sorry."

Mars said he knows his bandmates will be "well prepared, I can already tell you, because I've known them that long too. But I'm not backing down. I'm not gonna fold. And we'll see what happens. I'm most definitely not afraid of them, or intimidated or anything else."

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