Sir Roger Moore ended his third marriage to wife Luisa Mattiolo over the phone, he has said in a television interview.
The James Bond legend, 84, was married to Ms Mattiolo when he began an affair with his fourth and current wife Kristina Tholstrup.
"Did I say I was a nice person?" said Sir Roger. "I'm a coward."
The 007 and The Saint actor made the revelation to Piers Morgan on his ITV1 chat show.
In a candid and unself-conscious interview, Sir Roger, who appeared in seven Bond films, also admits that he fell in love with Ms Mattiolo while still with second wife Dorothy Squires.
"It was very selfish (to fall in love with Luisa)," he said. "I didn't say I was a nice person. I was selfish, putting my feelings ahead of other people's."
The actor spoke glowingly of his 14 years playing MI6's finest and said getting paid for the work felt like robbing a bank. He said: "I had a wonderful time. It was a wonderful working atmosphere - I loved Cubby Broccoli our producer, he was a wonderful man.
"It was wonderful working with virtually the same crew every time, so for 14 years every day you got up in the morning and went and saw old friends and had a lot of laughs and a lot of jokes together."
He added: "I'm very grateful I've been Bond. I think it's much better to be known for something that's positive and not for robbing a bank - or rather getting caught robbing a bank. I just thought - you feel like you are robbing a bank sometimes when you get paid."
Asked about the merits of the various Bonds, Sir Roger singled out current actor Daniel Craig as being the one who would attract most women. "I think he is very good," he said.