March 31, 2010 -- Two weeks after Jesse James' infidelity scandal broke, the husband of Sandra Bullock is headed into rehab, his rep says.
"Jesse checked himself into a treatment facility to deal with personal issues," the rep said in a statement to People.com. "He realized that this time was crucial to help himself, help his family and help save his marriage." There was no word on what type of rehab the owner of West Coast Choppers in Long Beach, Calif, has entered.
Last week, her rep called reports that Bullock was interviewing divorce lawyers "completely false." She did not respond immediately to a request for comment for this story.
Is Bullock proceeding cautiously or considering reuniting with James? As far-fetched as reconciliation may seem, especially as more details leak of James' alleged affairs, it's not out of the question. Just look at Elin and Tiger Woods, who seem to be trying to figure out what's next.
Bullock is also extremely close with James' three children from his two previous marriages. The Oscar-winning actress even curtailed her career to help raise youngest stepdaughter Sunny. But Bullock has no legal claim to the children.
"There are no plans, nor have there ever been any plans, for Sandra Bullock to adopt any of Jesse James's children," her rep told People Monday.
Friends of both Bullock and James told People that the children's welfare is a priority as they deal with their marital crisis. James also appears to be hoping for reconciliation for the children's sake.
"He would certainly love for this somehow to go away and that somehow things can be rectified and put back together," his friend told the magazine. "The one thing that's most important to him in the whole wide world is that his family comes back together. He will do whatever that takes."
Then there's the matter of Bullock's career, should she decide to go back to James. At the top of her game after winning the Oscar for best actress and becoming the first woman to helm a film – "The Blind Side" – that earned over $200 million, Bullock commands much love and respect within the film industry. She has also maintained a strong female audience.
Will the audience abandon her if she chooses to save her marriage?
E! gossip columnist Ted Casablanca thinks so. "I don't think she can come back from that," he said. "You're not going to go see 'Miss Congeniality 3' if she's still married to that guy."
If she leaves James, though, "the sky's the limit," Casablanca said. "She'll be poised for any kind of new Sandy she wants to create."
Casablanca said what Bullock's audience really wants to see is how she reinvents herself. "It's the traditional story driving Hollywood audiences, particularly women, for many years: wronged woman makes good. It will be a huge vicarious thrill," he said.
What Will Happen to Bullock's Career?
"If she sticks with him, it will be: wronged woman settles," he said. "That's not going to sell."
Casablanca said if Bullock reunites with James, she would have to make a radical departure from the kinds of films she has done in the past and take on less predictable roles, like her small part as a frustrated housewife in "Crash."
But Jeanine Basinger, chair of the film studies department at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., thinks audiences would be able to see past Bullock's personal life. "People might not see her as the same person, but they will still see her movies," Basinger told ABCNews.com.
Basinger said unlike the film stars of the 1930s and '40s, today's actresses are not forced to live lives that mirror their screen images.
"She's a woman who has a career," Basinger said. "If there's one thing we can all understand, it's picking a bozo. Everybody's been there. They've made mistakes in their personal life."
Besides, Basinger points out, Bullock is not at fault. "She's not the one who went off with tattooed guys. He done her wrong. The public sympathy is with her. If she leaves him, people will say, 'Great.' If she doesn't, they'll say, 'Noble effort,' or 'She's doing it for those kids,'" Basinger said. "She's on the winner's side here."
What Basinger would find unacceptable is if Bullock made another rotten movie, like "All About Steve," which won her a Razzie Award for worst actress just before she took home the Oscar. Little has been made public about Bullock's next films. According to the Internet Movie Data Base, she's slated in 2011 for such titles as "Kiss & Tango," "Jingle," and "One of the Guys."
Casablanca said it sounds like more "All About Steve" than "Blind Side." If so, she'll be given a pass for the next few movies because of the turmoil in her personal life. "This is a woman who has made a lot of crap, and she still has a vibrant career," he said.
What Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry Did
Other actresses have had to face the public humiliation of a troubled marriage and carry on with their careers. Jennifer Aniston, who tried some experimental roles in "The Good Girl" and "Along Came Polly," while married to Brad Pitt, returned to her more comfortable girl-next-door roles after they split up.
"Maybe it made her seize it a little bit more," Casablanca said about Aniston's career post-divorce. "But I think Jennifer Aniston is comfortable in a fairly limited range. 'Marley and Me' would have happened whether she was married to Brad Pitt or not."
Like Bullock, Halle Berry had to confront problems in her marriage to singer Eric Benet right after she won the Oscar. But Casablanca thinks she worked out her issues with men on the big screen before that while filming her Oscar-winning role as a vulnerable woman whose husband and son are killed in "Monster's Ball."
After divorcing Benet, Berry chose such light-hearted fare as "Catwoman," the James Bond film "Die Another Day" and the "X-Men" sequels.