The former Glasgow City Council leader, who resigned four years ago in a drugs and drink scandal, has spoken at the hurt he feels over his media portrayal ever since.
The 41-year-old insisted that his departure and his substance abuse were symptoms of an illness that resulted in a mental breakdown and suicidal thoughts.
He said: "When I left public office, under circumstances that, of course, I would have preferred had not happened, I was simply a very unwell man. And I had no realisation for some time afterwards how unwell I had become.
"I've still yet to see or hear anything truthful which I personally would associate with the word 'disgrace'".
It emerged after his resignation that Mr Purcell had been spoken to by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, which was understood to be concerned that his drug use could make him vulnerable to blackmail.
Mr Purcell also dismissed rumours made at the time of his resignation that a newspaper was going to publish footage of him taking cocaine. He said: "I was getting frustrated with this constant rumour, but I knew a video did not exist. On the small number of times that I had foolishly partaken in the use of cocaine, I know it had not been filmed because I was lucid enough to recall who was there."
"I resigned because I had a drink problem. I recognised it was getting so severe that I was not functioning at the level the leader of a council should."
Mr Purcell said he was now trying to stay sober. "Hopefully," he said, "I will get to the stage in my journey that I will never lift a drink."