Coming off the breakup of his marriage to Sandra Bullock, Jesse James opens up about his relationship, his time in rehab and what he says made him cheat on his Oscar-winning wife, in an exclusive "Nightline" interview.
Days after Sandra Bullock took home an Oscar for her role in "The Blind Side," reports surfaced that her husband had cheated. When a string of women came forward claiming to have slept with James, the couple's marriage became tabloid fodder.
But from the beginning, James and Bullock seemed like an odd couple: "America's Sweetheart," Miss Congeniality, dating a tattooed, motorcycle builder.
Below is a timeline of the highs and lows of their relationship and public breakup:
December 2003: Bullock and James meet when she takes her godson, a fan of James' show "Monster Garage," to tour West Coast Choppers, the garage where James builds custom motorcycles that sell for as much as $300,000.
July 16, 2005: Bullock, 41, and James, 35, get married in a private ceremony in Santa Barbara, Calif. Bullock becomes a stepmom to James' three children -- daughter, Chandler, and son, Jesse Jr., whom he had with his first wife, Karla, and a daughter, Sunny, whom he had with his second wife, adult film star, Janine Lindemulder.
2006: James' show "Monster Garage" on the Discovery Channel goes off the air. In April, James opens up Cisco Burger restaurant down the street from West Coast Choppers.
April 2007: In a press conference promoting "Premonition," Bullock comments on being a stepmom: "Here's the thing, I have children. I married into children. I love those children. My concern and my love for those kids as a co-parent is no less than if I had that child biologically. I don't see the difference between that and having your own child biologically. My priorities are love, my want, my wishes for them, my discipline, my rules, my fun, is because of my children. I have them .. .I feel for the children I have in my life and I would not change that."
December 2009: James and Bullock get custody of James' daughter, Sunny, after months-long bitter custody dispute. Bullock has been helping her husband raise Sunny since James' ex-wife, Janine Lindemulder, was sentenced to six months of prison for tax evasion, Dec. 31, 2008.
Jan. 17, 2010: At the Golden Globes, Bullock scores an award for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in "The Blind Side." During her acceptance speech, she says, "and to my husband, there is no surprise that my work got better when I met you because I never knew what it felt like for someone to have my back. So thank you! "
March 7, 2010: Barbara Walters interviews Bullock on the final "Barbara Walters Oscar Special." Bullock opens up on affairs of the heart and says, " I hope the same people that are in my house today will be there 10 years from now."
March 7, 2010: Bullock wins for her role in "The Blind Side," propelling her into an elite circle of Oscar-winning actors. When she accepts the award for best actress, James whispers something in Bullock's ear and kisses her, but she doesn't react, gesturing toward Meryl Streep and heading to the stage. Bullock does not thank James by name, but does thank the "mothers who take care of the babies and the children no matter where they come from."
Jan. 23, 2010: At the SAG Awards, Bullock wins again for best actress and thanks James during her speech: "You get dressed up in monkey suits and you sit at a table with people you don't know," she said. "And I leave you there, and then you come back with, like, Morgan Freeman's e-mail [address]. I don't know how you do it. I love you so much, and you're really hot. And I want you so much!"
Affair and Break-Up
March 17, 2010: In Touch Magazine runs a cover story called "The Ultimate Betrayal," based on an interview with Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, a model who claims she had an 11-month affair with James, much of which allegedly occurred while Bullock was filming "The Blind Side." McGee claims Jesse told her, "'She [Bullock] doesn't live here. She has a house in Austin. She is filming and I can't talk about it."
March 17, 2010: Bullock pulls out of the London premiere for "The Blind Side." "Due to unforeseen personal reasons, a trip abroad to support 'The Blind Side' has been deemed impossible at this time," read a statement released by Warner Bros. to BBC News. "I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you for your continued support of the film."
March 18, 2010: James issues a public apology to Bullock and his three kids. "There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me," James said in a statement. He says a "vast majority" of the allegations made against him are "untrue and unfounded," but "it's because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way. James goes on to say, "This has caused my wife and kids pain and embarrassment beyond comprehension and I am extremely saddened to have brought this on them. I am truly very sorry for the grief I have caused them. I hope one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me."
March 24, 2010: Reports surface from a second woman who claims to have slept with him. Melissa Smith tells Star Magazine she carried on a two year affair with James.
March 25, 2010: A third woman claims to have had an adulterous affair with James. Her name: Bridgitte Daguerre, a photographer from Los Angeles. She says their relationship began in 2008 and claims to have 195 texts from James to prove the affair. According to TMZ, one text reads, "I'll be your monkey." She tells TMZ the two only had sex four times.
March 26, 2010: James checks into rehab at Sierra Tuscon Treatment Center in Arizona to seek help for what he describes as "personal issues."
April 12, 2010: Radaronline reports James' fifth alleged mistress Merilee Gerth sued him for sexual harassment after their alleged affair.
April 19, 2010: "Entertainment Tonight" shows first photos of Bullock hiking in Northern California without her wedding ring. Bullock was bundled in a black jacket, jeans and a scarf and showed very little of her face, covering it with a black hat. The photo was said to be taken Friday April 16.
April 23, 2010: Bullock files for divorce in Texas. Her petition is no-fault, claiming the marriage is irretrievably broken.
April 26, 2010: TMZ obtains a letter that James' alleged second mistress, Melissa Smith, faxed to Bullock's agent. In the letter, she reportedly says sorry and closes with "Please contact me if you wish to discuss on the phone or in person."
April 26, 2010: James reportedly returns home from rehab at Sierra Tuscon Treatment Center in Arizona. He is not wearing a wedding ring.
April 27, 2010: TMZ posts video of James' dad who claims that his son was obsessed with Nazi's. This comes after a photo surfaces of James wearing a German S.S. hat and giving a Nazi salute.
April 28, 2010: Bullock reveals to People magazine that she is adopting a 3½-month-old baby named Louis, born in New Orleans. Bullock told People she began the adoption process with James four years ago, but decided to keep it under wraps until after the Oscars. "It's like he's always been a part of our lives," Bullock told People. The issue with Bullock's new adopted baby on the cover sold 3 million copies.
April 28, 2010: TMX posts photos of James grabbing the paper from outside his home in Huntington Beach.
April 28, 2010: James releases a written statement to People magazine: "My whole life has been full of hard decisions. The decision to let my wife end our marriage, and continue the adoption of Louis on her own, has been the hardest. The love I have for Louis cannot be put to words. Not having him around to love and to hold has left a huge hole in my heart. Sandy is the love of my life, but considering the pain and devastation I have caused her, it would be selfish to not let her go. Right now it is time for me to beat this addiction that has taken two of the things I love the most in life. I have always taken great pride in proving people wrong. That time has come once again to show that I am not what everyone says I am. I know in my heart that I can be the best father possible to my four children, and the mate Sandy deserves, and realize that this is an incredible mountain to climb. But I believe that the steps I have taken in the last 30 days are the foundation for making this happen. The lifelong commitment I am making is what being a real husband and father is all about. I ask that you please do not judge Sandy for the things I have done. She has done no wrong. She played no part in any of this. She has been an amazing wife, mother, and best friend, for the over 6 years we have been together."
April 30, 2010: TMZ reports that Bullock and James' almost $6 million home in Orange County, Calif., is put on the market, for an asking price of $5,995,000.
May 12, 2010: James sits down with "Nightline's" Vicki Mabrey for an exclusive interview at West Coast Choppers. James opens up on his past, his time in rehab, and what caused him be unfaithful.