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Jesse James on 'Nightline': Childhood abuse drove me to cheat on wife Sandra Bullock

Posted by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM
  • 13 Replies

 

BY Cristina Everett
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, May 26th 2010, 10:27 AM

Jesse James opened up about being abused as a child in an interview on 'Nightline.'
ABC
Jesse James opened up about being abused as a child in an interview on 'Nightline.'
Bullock filed for divorce from James in April. CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS OF JESSE'S ALLEGED MISTRESSES.
Kramer/AP
Bullock filed for divorce from James in April. CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS OF JESSE'S ALLEGED MISTRESSES.

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Jesse James claims that being a victim of child abuse drove him to destroy his five-year marriage to Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock.

"I grew up with a huge amount of shame and fear and abandonment on my shoulders from a very young age and I think, you know, the way my mind rationalized [cheating], 'Well, you know, I might as well do whatever I can to like run her off cause she is going to find out what I am anyway and leave me anyway,'" James said in a "Nightline" interview Tuesday night.

James, 41, admitted to cheating on Bullock with multiple women, claiming his actions were the result of his emotional insecurities.

"The struggle within myself for the things that I did ... to damage marriage and my life and everything else, it's all me," he said. "I'm doing it because, you know, I've basically never felt good enough for anyone."

After the handful of alleged mistresses who came forward claiming to have had an affair with him, as well as the barrage of pesky paparazzi that followed, James sought refuge at a rehab facility in late March.

Though he entered the facility with "a little bit of an ego," the motorcycle mechanic said he eventually opened up to realize, "Wow, I'm kind of more messed up than most of the people here."

"It was like peeling an onion," he explained. "Every day it was a new revelation about myself and the things I've been doing. I cried more in rehab in the last 30 days than I have in my whole life. No BS. That's the truth."

During his month-long stint receiving treatment for sex addiction and anger management, James discovered that being labeled a bike builder and "Monster Garage" TV star felt like "a huge smokescreen so that people won't see that I'm a scared, abused kid, a seven-year-old."

As a child of divorce, James was raised by his father, who he claims was physically and emotionally abusive.

"He beat my ass pretty good a bunch of times. ... I just remember, like, clinched teeth, strained-neck look on his face," he said. "My whole childhood, I never had a chance to be a kid. ... I was always scared."

On one occasion, James said he tripped over a low fence wire and snapped his wrist.

"I remember my dad laughed at me when I hit the ground and called me a dummy," he said. "I was petrified of my dad ... It wasn't so much getting the s--- beat out of me or getting my arm broken or getting kicked or whatever or punched, it was the in-between time. It was the fear of that happening again. I was a terrorized kid and, I mean, it's really tough for me to think about now because ... Sunny [his 7-year-old daughter] is the age that I was when my dad broke my arm."

In an e-mail message to ABC News, James' estranged father, Larry, denied the abuse allegations.

James went on to say that he isn't a sex addict, but instead, his extramarital affairs and unconventional lifestyle were decisions he chose to do as a way "to sabotage my life."

"I think I do a lot of things in my life that I shouldn't be doing that aren't conducive to being a perfect husband, you know, and the affairs are just one of them," he said.

Claiming many victims of abuse "self-sabotage" their lives, either through drug addictions or in his case, infidelity, James explained that he didn't cheat on Bullock to destroy her life or humiliate her.

"I may seem like a monster in peoples' eyes, but I'm not that kind of person where I will willfully, you know, 'I'm gonna get her, I'll show her,' that's not what it's about," he said. "It's about trying to push someone away that I thought was going to leave anyway."

In April, Bullock, 45, filed for divorce and announced plans to raise the couple's adopted 3 1/2-month-old son, Louis, as a single parent. Despite their marriage ending, James said he hopes to reconcile with Bullock.

He said, "I really wish I didn't have to go through all this and put everybody else through this to get to this place, but hopefully with time and my actions, and the things that I do, I hope people realize that, you know, Hey, I'm human, I make mistakes and I'm sorry for what I did."



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/05/26/2010-05-26_jesse_james_claims_childhood_abuse_drove_him_to_cheat_on_wife_sandra_bullock.html#ixzz0p3zJ8K00


by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM
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Replies (1-10):
grannywilson
by Member on May. 26, 2010 at 3:01 PM

I seriously hope he gets the help he needs.  How many botched relationship so far?   I                can' t completely go along with the "blame my mom and dad" excuse.  At some point and time we make our own choices.  He has had time to see what didn't work. 

teddysmom08
by Member on May. 26, 2010 at 3:18 PM

I am so tired of people using their own past as an excuse to abuse others! My father was severely abused as a child, and he never laid a hand on my mother or any of his children. He never had an affair either.  It is time for this man to pick himself up by his bootstraps and take responsibility for his actions.

AMom29
by Gold Member on May. 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM

 Someone call a Waaaaaambulance.

survivorinohio
by René on May. 26, 2010 at 3:49 PM


Quoting AMom29:

 Someone call a Waaaaaambulance.

I agree.


                                                 

   
                                             

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong, because sometime in life you will have been one or all of these. George Washington Carver

1bluediamond
by Gold Member on May. 26, 2010 at 3:50 PM

He should have dealt with his childhood trauma before getting married or at least when he felt tempted to cheat. 

stormcris
by Christy on May. 26, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Apparently he needs to learn that deflecting is a problem as well. He has a long way to go.

megafine
by on May. 26, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Just another excuse to cheat.  Until he takes responsibility for his own actions, he'll probably continue to in the future.

LokisMama
by Bronze Member on May. 26, 2010 at 5:55 PM

First it was sex addiction, now it's childhood trauma??  Can't he keep his own story straight?

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on May. 26, 2010 at 7:28 PM


Quoting teddysmom08:

I am so tired of people using their own past as an excuse to abuse others! My father was severely abused as a child, and he never laid a hand on my mother or any of his children. He never had an affair either.  It is time for this man to pick himself up by his bootstraps and take responsibility for his actions.

Yup.

Malapertinent
by on May. 26, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Hmmm, my clinical mind wants to say...OK, you have a problem, but the wife side of me wants to know WHY his wife, soulmate, woman of his dreams (just assuming...that's what saying "I do" means to me) wouldn't know about that horrid past he alledges.

Stinks

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