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Jesse James Claims Abuse on Nightline

This week, Jesse James appeared on ABC’s Nightline and admitted that he was the victim of abuse as a child. “I was a terrorized kid,” he said. Sandra Bullock’s ex said he entered rehab earlier this year for sex addiction and anger management, where he dealt with his childhood abuse including beatings at the hands of his father.

“I grew up with a huge amount of shame and fear and abandonment on my shoulders from a very young age, and I think, you know, the way my mind rationalized [cheating], ‘Well, you know, I might as well do whatever I can to like run her off cause she is going to find out what I am anyway and leave me anyway,” James said.

He added that all of  his cheating stemmed from his “emotional shortcomings.”

“The struggle within myself for the things that I did … to damage marriage and my life and everything else, it’s all me,” James said. “I’m doing it because, you know, I’ve basically never felt good enough for anyone.”

James also admitted that once he entered rehab, he realized he needed it. “I realized, ‘Wow, I’m kind of more messed up than most of the people here.’ It was like peeling an onion. Every day it was a new revelation about myself and the things I’ve been doing,” he said. “I cried more in rehab in the last 30 days than I have in my whole life. No BS. That’s the truth,” he said.

He sited his issues with his father as part of the reason he was always so tough. “Bike builder, ‘Monster Garage’ TV star, all that stuff is a huge smokescreen so that people won’t see that I’m a scared, abused kid, a seven-year-old,” James said. “He beat my ass pretty good a bunch of times … I just remember, like, clinched teeth, strained-neck look on his face,” James said. “My whole childhood, I never had a chance to be a kid. … I was always scared.”

James’ father, Larry James, denies the allegations.

He said that he cheated on Sandra out of desire to derail his life.

“It made me feel horrible,” James said of the infidelities. “And I knew I would get caught eventually, and I think I wanted to get caught. I don’t think, I know for a fact now what it was. It was me trying to self-sabotage my life. I think I do things to sabotage my life, including 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 that aren’t conducive to being a perfect husband, you know, and the affairs are just one of them.”

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