In an interview on Jay Leno's first primetime show on NBC Monday night, Kanye West blames the pain from his mother's 2007 death for causing him to ambush Taylor Swift at Sunday night's MTV VMAs.
"You know, I deal with hurt," said West -- who grabbed the mic from Swift, 17, as she accepted her Best Female Video award. "And you know, so many celebrities, they never take time off. I've never taken the time off to really -- you know, just music after music and tour after tour.
"I'm just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else's hurt -- and I don't try to justify it because I was just in the wrong. That's period," he went on. "But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I'm going to make it through the rest of this life, how I'm going to improve. Because I am a celebrity, and that's something I have to deal with.
"And if there's anything I could do to help Taylor in the future or help anyone, I'd like -- you know, I want to live this thing. It's hard sometimes," he said.
When Leno asked West if his mom, Donda, who died from plastic surgery complications, would have been disappointed in his behavior, he admitted, "Yeah."
West -- who appeared on the show to perform "Run This Town" with Jay-Z and Rihanna -- said it's been an "extremely difficult" day.
"Just dealing with the fact that I hurt someone or took anything away, you know, from a talented artist or from anyone, because I only wanted to help people," he said. "My entire life, I've only wanted to give and do something that I felt was right. And I immediately knew in the situation that it was wrong, and it wasn't a spectacle or just -- you know, it's actually someone's emotions, you know, that I stepped on. And it was very -- it was just -- it was rude, period.
"And, you know, I'd like to be able to apologize to her in person. And I wanted to...." he said.
When Leno asked when he knew he was doing something wrong, West said, "As soon as I gave the mic back to her and she didn't keep going."