May 26th, 2010
11:11 AM ET
The implosion of Jesse James’ marriage to Sandra Bullock played out in the media for weeks, but everyone could only dance around the essential plot point: Did Jesse James actually cheat? Now, we all have the answer.
When ABC News correspondent Vicki Mabrey asked James during the "Nightline" interview Tuesday if he cheated on Bullock, he only had one thing to say: “Yup.”
So yes, he did cheat, but with how many women? James wouldn't confirm the allegations that he broke his vows with all five women who have described themselves as his mistresses, because to him, the number itself doesn’t really matter. “It could’ve been a million,” he told Mabrey in the interview. “Bad is bad….It’s just that I took a perfect marriage, a perfect wife, a perfect life, a perfect stepmother and threw it away with my actions.”
Although James’ immediate response to the obvious query of "why" he would do such a thing was "I don't know," he said he believes that it was a form of self-sabotage.
“During the midst of all of it, when I was doing it, I knew it was horrible. It made me feel horrible and I knew I would get caught eventually and I think I wanted to get caught,” James said as he tried to explain his thought process to Mabrey. “It was me trying to self-sabotage my life.”
That's because growing up, James said he was a “terrorized kid.”
“My whole childhood, I never had a chance to be a kid. [My dad] beat my [expletive] pretty good a bunch of times. Football star, bike builder, 'Monster Garage' TV star, that was all a smoke screen so people won’t see that I’m a scared, abused kid,” he said. (In an email to ABC, James’ father denied the abuse allegations.)
“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 recalled.
The father of three said he did go to rehab for sex addiction and anger management, but mainly to deal with those memories.
“I cried more in rehab in the past 30 days than I have in my life. I don’t think I have a sex addiction where I’m running around trying to have sex with everyone nonstop, I think I do things to sabotage my life,” James said. “Having extramarital affairs, texting, overworking myself, injuring myself doing stunts and stupid things…I think I do a lot of things in my life that I shouldn’t be doing. The affairs are just one of them.”
He told Mabrey that he does have plans to be in baby Louis’ life, but that he doesn't have a chance of convincing Bullock to not go through with the divorce.
“I still have hopes of saving some sort of relationship with Sandy,” he said, but at this point, he said all he wants is forgiveness.
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