May 20, 2010 — -- Coming off the break-up of his marriage to Sandra Bullock, Jesse James spoke publicly for the first time, telling ABC News he cheated on his Oscar-winning wife and shattered a seemingly-perfect relationship.
I "took a pretty amazing life and amazing success and marriage ... and threw it away by my own hands," James told Vicki Mabrey of ABC News' "Nightline."
James revealed his side of the story and opened up on his past, his time in rehab and what made him cheat, in his first television appearance since news of his affairs came out in March.
Watch the exclusive interview with Jesse James on Tuesday, May 25, on "Good Morning America," and then see more on a special edition of "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT
When asked by Mabrey if he's the "most hated man in America," as magazine headlines labeled him, for cheating on "America's sweetheart," James wryly commented: "I think the 'most hated man in the world,' now."
James responded to the questions so many people have been wondering about: Why did he throw away a seemingly perfect life and the perfect wife? Did she know any of it was going on? What did he really go to rehab for? And what role will he play in the life of Louis, the baby boy Bullock recently adopted?
At one point in the interview, James teared up and asked Mabrey for a moment to collect himself.
The 41-year-old has kept a low profile since a string of women came forward in March claiming to have slept with him. Shortly thereafter, James checked into a rehab facility to seek help for "personal issues." He also publicly apologized to Bullock, his wife of nearly five years, and his three kids.