May 27th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
During an interview with ABC News’ “Nightline” Tuesday, Jesse James alleged that the main reason he went to rehab after cheating on Sandra Bullock was because he’d been “terrorized” as a child.
“My whole childhood, I never had a chance to be a kid,” James told ABC News correspondent Vicki Mabrey. “[My dad] beat my [expletive] pretty good a bunch of times. Football star, bike builder, Monster Garage TV star – all that stuff was a huge smoke screen so people won’t see that I’m a scared, abused kid.”
But in an email to ABC, James’ father Larry denied the allegations of abuse, and told RadarOnline.com in an interview that the scenario James recalled to the point of tears during the interview – that his father broke his arm – didn’t happen the way James described.
While James told “Nightline” that his father chased him in the dark, and James fell and broke his arm. “I remember my dad laughed at me when I hit the ground and called me a dummy. I was petrified of my dad. It wasn’t so much getting the [expletive] beat out of me or getting my arm broken, it was the in between time, the fear of that happening again.” James broke down in tears at that point, because he said he was the same age as his youngest daughter Sunny when his father broke his arm.
James’ father told Radar that he too remembers when the injury, but said that James left out the part where he helped him up and took him in for treatment afterward. The incident started, Larry said, because James had kicked a ball into their landlady’s yard and hadn’t retrieved it by the time Larry came home from work, despite being instructed to do so.
“When I got home from work at 7 p.m....the ball was still there. I told him to go get it. I took a step towards him, not to hit him, just to prod him to get his butt over there,” he recalled. According to Larry, James then threw a fit and ran over to a fence, “to show me how tough he was,” and ended up falling and breaking his arm.
“He neglected to say that I was right there at the fence, picked him up and lifted him over the fence and I never let go of him until his hand was in a cast,” Larry said. “He sat on my lap all the way down there [to the hospital], my ex-wife drove us. I felt guilty because I made him go get the ball, but I didn’t break his arm. He did it himself by throwing a tantrum.”
"Nightline" also showed a photo of a younger James with a clearly visible black eye. James never said how he got the injury, but Larry told Radar that it was from a crash on a minibike. “He had a black eye…but for sure, I never blackened his eye. I cried when anything happened like that,” he said.
Larry believes that his son’s allegations stem from animosity fostered within the last six to eight years. “For some reason, my son hates me and I know it’s because of his image,” Larry said.
“God knows I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and unfortunately most of them have been with women,” he added. “As far as bad feelings towards my son I have none. I love my son with all my heart; I’d die for him today….I wasn’t that way at all, and my heart cries out to him.”
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