The Sopranos alum, 51, announced on Instagram that she had launched an account on the subscription service last month and is now responding to critics of the choice.
"I know some people have said some nasty things about me having joined OnlyFans,” de Matteo told Fox News. “But, you know, the way we see it in this house is mommy's a warrior, not accepting defeat.”
She continued, "I figured, 'OK, so everybody's in their underwear and being sexy on Instagram and I don't do that, but I can do that and get paid for it.' … I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.”
The Sons of Anarchy alum shared that she was forced to "switch careers and figure new things out because my own industry thinks, you know, I'm a savage” after she refused to comply with COVID vaccine mandates, adding, "I guess you could say I was a bad girl because I did not follow the rules a couple of years ago. So, I don't want to be at the mercy of mandates or strike or anything like that ever again."
In the aftermath of de Matteo’s speaking out about the mandate, the actress claims that she was dropped by her agent and "almost lost our home over it."
"I just don't care. I don't. I'd rather save my family than save face," she explained. "Listen, for the people who think it's something crazy. It's not what you think it is. And for the people who think it's something crazy, it's exactly what you want it to be."
De Matteo — who starred as Adriana La Cerva on The Sopranos and had roles on Joey, Shades of Blue and Desperate Housewives — also clarified where she stands financially.
"People find that hard to believe that I was never really paid very much money for any of the jobs I've done. People think I'm f---ing made of gold, and I'm not," she explained. "I’ve worked job to job. And I've turned down tons of jobs in the past just to be with my children because their dad's on the road, and he's not around as much."
Despite the internet backlash, the actress said her children — daughter Alabama Gypsyrose, 15, and son Waylon Albert "Blackjack," 12, who she shares with ex Shooter Jennings — encouraged her to join the platform.
"My kids were the ones that were like, ‘Do it.’ She’ll [Alabama] edit the pictures, too, because they want certain things that we haven't been able to do,” she said. “I used to have a lot of money. And then, all of a sudden, I went from being allowed to work to never being allowed to work again. I was never the kind of actor that took jobs just to stay in the business. I literally took jobs to feed my family.”
She added: "So, when people make nasty comments about why I would have done that, my response is, 'Damn straight, I hope you're never in the f---ing position I'm in. I take care of an entire family and a lot of other people who depend on me.'"
De Matteo said that she has never read anything that was posted about her, sharing, "I don’t read comments. I never have. I would say that my last few relationships with men I've been with have even deteriorated because they read every comment on my socials, their own socials, whatever, and it destroys people.”
"I know what they’re saying is not true," she added. "Like, it could never get under my f---ing skin because I stood by something I believed in. I know the kind of actor I’ve been my whole life. I know that I'm good at what I do. I do love what I do. But it's not the only interest in my life anymore."