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Interview with Jesse James

Aired May 13, 2011 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, a man who married America's sweetheart and then broke her heart. Jesse James, what are you thinking?


JESSE JAMES, AUTHOR, "AMERICAN OUTLAW": As far as the relationship with Sandy, you know, I should have done the honorable thing and I should have left her.


MORGAN: His life, his loves, his side of the story.


JAMES: I don't belong, you know, trying to think that I'm some fancy, you know, because my wife is fancy. That makes me fancy. You know, it's just (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


MORGAN: He says we don't know the real Jesse. Well, tonight, I'm going to find out. Nothing is off limits -- Sandra Bullock, Kat Von D and his outlaw life.


MORGAN: If you had your time again, would you do the same thing?


MORGAN: Jesse James, no holds barred for the hour. This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT primetime exclusive.


JAMES: You thought I was going to hit you.



MORGAN: Love him or hate him, Jesse James puts it all out there. He says his life is pretty much an open book. And in fact, that's exactly what it's now become in this book entitled, "American Outlaw." And Jesse joins me now.

Jesse, we've met twice; once was on "Celebrity Apprentice."


MORGAN: When I came in and gave you a bit of a grilling.

JAMES: That was awesome.

MORGAN: But I'm not blagging (ph) money off your then wife, Sandra.

JAMES: You thought I was going to hit you?

MORGAN: I did, actually. It was the one time in my recent television career when I thought this is not going to end happily. You just kept staring at me with this kind of death stare.

JAMES: I'm sorry.

MORGAN: I mean, you have got quite a chilling death stare.

JAMES: No. I'm a pussycat.


MORGAN: The second time we met was - I thought it was a fairly more surreal situation. It was the Oscars. And I was in the red carpet, and you came down and we had a bit of fun about "The Apprentice." And I said, "Can I meet Sandra?" And you went and got Sandra. And you - you brought her over. And I checked yesterday, because I made a note at the time, what she said.

And I said, "You know, really like Jesse? You're lucky to have him?" She said, "I wake up every day, and I remind myself how lucky I am to have him." And within four days, it was all over. The scandal broke, and that was it. And I found it sad when I read back at the notes I made then.

JAMES: Oh, I think it was sad, you know? I mean, it's funny. Like how quick, you know, life can change. And the things that you -- that are closest to you can be gone in the blink of an eye. And I think it's not just me, it's for anyone, you know?

MORGAN: I mean, you're very honest in the book, and commendably so. You don't -- you don't hide anything. You take all the criticism firmly on your chin. I suppose the over riding question for me when I read it was, if you had your time again, would you do the same thing?

JAMES: As far as like the infidelity stuff, or --


MORGAN: As far as I think the -- because the key thing here, you talk a lot about the relationship with Sandra. You talk a lot about what happened. I'm going to come to that a bit later in the interview. But I just wondered when I read it.

JAMES: Well --

MORGAN: Whether you regret that it happened, or you regret it being exposed, or how you really feel?

JAMES: Well, I think the whole book is like hindsight, you know? You can go hindsight on any of it, you know? I think starting from when I was a kid, you know, I would rather get the football scholarship instead of being in jail when the scouts came around.

MORGAN: Would you?


MORGAN: I mean, these are interesting --

JAMES: I mean, if I -- If I could have went back and played football now, and still get a college scholarship even though I would have never turned pro, because I was probably too small, I would do that, you know? And I think as far as the relationship with Sandy, you know, I should have did the honorable thing. I should have left her, you know? If I wanted to just screw around, I should have, you know, ended it. But, you know --

MORGAN: But given where your life has ended up now, the question I'm really asking is whether you regret the course of events? Let's forget your behavior for a moment, or whether you wish that you had never been unfaithful, and were still with Sandra. How do you -- how do you honestly feel?

JAMES: I wouldn't go back and change things, you know? I'm -- in a way, I'm glad the stuff happens. I'm not happy that I hurt her, and hurt so many people around her, and my family and everybody else. You know, I would never want to put anybody through that again.

But I'm a firm believer that things happen in life to teach us a lesson, you know? And there's obviously someone that thought, you know, I was a strong (EXPLETIVE DELETED) to put this kind of adversity on me, you know? And push me to my -- you know, damn near to my breaking point.

You know, and things are I think better now, you know? Like, you know there's some sadness there, and some regret and guilt and sorrow, and every kind of, you know, negative emotion you could imagine. But I don't think, you know, I mean, God, I -- you know, how do you, you know -- if I could go back through my whole life, and not make all the mistakes I would make, sure. Yes. I would be a perfect person, and --

MORGAN: I mean, I got as far as a very early part of the book, when I start reading how your father hit you. Yes, and punched you. I mean, this is not talking about just a smack to bottom or something. This is like --

(CROSSTALK) JAMES: I probably deserved it. I was a pretty bad kid. But --

MORGAN: Yes, but a proper punch is different, isn't it?

JAMES: Yes, I think getting punched in the face by my dad was kind of like, whoa. You know, that was -- there's a lot of hate there. That wasn't love.

MORGAN: Horrible.

JAMES: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: I hated reading it.

JAMES: Yes, it sucked, you know? But, you know, I mean --

MORGAN: Why was he like that? Why was he so angry do you think?

JAMES: Well, I think it was probably learned behavior. I don't think he -- you know, no -- people are taught everything, you know? And I think he probably learned it from someone else. And -- or his dad, or someone in his family. You know, I don't think that stuff comes out of the blue.

And you know, I think there was problems with probably substance abuse, and stuff like that. And you know, I don't really blame him for his actions.

You know, my dad -- you know, I still love my dad. And it -- you know, he's like the White Fred Sanford. You know, he was a great guy. And we were buddies when I was growing up. I just think that like kids was an afterthought, you know? We weren't -- it wasn't a priority. It was like, oh, you know, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I got kids, you know? And he didn't -- it didn't control his actions, because he had --

MORGAN: Did he ever apologize to you for the hitting?


MORGAN: You think he should?

JAMES: No. I don't think so. I think I'm cool with it. You know, it's kind of the dichotomy of me. It's made me who I am, you know? Made me strong, made me never do that to my kids. So, you know?

MORGAN: Your big dream was to be a footballer. And you had real talent. But partly I think really --


JAMES: Now, real football. Not that --

MORGAN: No. No. The real one. Where they --


JAMES: Kickball like you guys play.

MORGAN: Yes. The one where you big guys wear all the padding and helmets unlike the other one. But the -- yes, to be serious, this was a big dream of yours. And you were talented. But reading the book, you drift into a life of crime, partly I suspect because of this abuse you're getting at home.

JAMES: Yes, I think I was kind of clinging to anything. You know, I cling to the wrong friends, and the wrong crowd. I mean, on the football field I was like the disciplined soldier. You know, I would kill for my coaches and do everything perfect; every drill, every practice, everything. I'd be the first one there, and the last one to leave, you know?

And I -- but as soon as -- but as soon as football season ended, I didn't have any structure. So, I would just get in trouble, and steal stuff, and get in fights.

And you know -- and football was basically my family. That was my family structure, and family life. I think that's why I have the work ethic I have. And I like teamwork and leadership, and all that stuff. It was because of the football.

MORGAN: I mean, the crime escalated to the extent that -- that right at a crucial time in your football career really. You end up in jail, and you -- you know, you're carried out from an armed robbery.

When you think back to what you were doing then, do you recognize the man that you were then, a young man?

JAMES: Yes. I think it was -- I think it was foolish. I mean, if I could go back and change any one thing in my life, I would go back and get that scholarship to any of the hundred schools that recruited me.

MORGAN: And do you think going to jail just ruined that? That they all run a mile (ph)?

JAMES: Oh, yes, totally. Because they - I was in jail for 90 days. And all the college scouts showed up to my high school to meet me the two weeks after the season was over. And my coach couldn't lie to them. You know, "Hey, where's Jesse? We want to meet him, and see how fast he runs the 40-yard dash, and all that stuff." And he had to tell them that, hey, I was in jail.

MORGAN: When you were in jail, what were you thinking?

JAMES: It was said, you know? I think -- I think it was -- I felt probably the most alone I've ever felt in my life, because, you know, I didn't really have a lot of family to speak of. And I just had the friends I made in there, you know? And it just -- it -- man, I'm glad I did it, because I think it kind of --

MORGAN: But aside from the mundanity of jail life, in terms of you and your values as a human being, if you could -- I mean, you didn't go back into jail. So you obviously got out of the cycle when you came out. You must have when you were in there been thinking, this is not a life I want to lead.

JAMES: I think I -- I think my senior year in high school when I missed you know, over 100 days of year, and almost didn't graduate. I had to go to summer school to get my diploma. And then -- and then missed out on college scholarships. And then I had to go to a junior college which was like a put down to me, cause I was such a highly recruited player, and then I had to go to like, you know, a small school. And like where all the screw ups go, I think it kind of said like, you know, hey, I've got to like take care of business, you know? And not do that again. Got to get a job, and get responsible. And --

MORGAN: And how hard was it to get a job? When you've been -- I mean, you've done time. It's not easy, is it?

JAMES: Well, I was juvenile. And it wasn't really doing time, you know? It was 30 days, 60 days, 90 days. It wasn't really like, you know, convict time. So, it -- you know, I'm not like minimizing it. But I don't think when you're 18 or anything like that, I don't think people really -- they don't look at a guy that moves furniture for a furniture store, you're not looking at his record.

MORGAN: We're going to take a short break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about this bizarre career move you've made into becoming -- what I think bizarre given where you've come from to become as a rock star body guard.

JAMES: Cool.


MORGAN: I have my special guest, Jesse James.

Jesse, you started doing various odd jobs. And then you meet Rick Rubin, the producer. He takes you under his wing. And one of your first jobs is being security for his band, including Flava Flav. And your specific task is to try and stop him from smoking crack during a performance.

JAMES: Yes. No. They -- not during performances. They had me -- he was recording an album. Rick Rubin was doing Public Enemy's album. They had me like drive around and follow him, and make sure he didn't buy crack from anyone in L.A. for a week.

MORGAN: What -- the big break -- the thing you really loved was motor bikes. Tell me how you got into this and realized I can make proper money at this?

JAMES: Well, I never did it about the money. You know, I started -- when I was on the road with bands like late 80s, early 90s, you know, I spent most of the time in Europe. And so, I started going to every motorcycle shop I could go to, you know? All over England and France, and Germany, and Scandinavia. And I kind of started putting together like, you know, hey, I want to build motorcycles. And when I was off the road, you know, for -- I would work on my bikes. And that I always had some projects going at home. And, you know, I just kind of -- that's what I loved. I loved building stuff. And --

MORGAN: Well, you -- you not only made a living. You got a T.V. show; that "Monster Garage," which became this huge hit.

The downside for you -- and again you're very honest about this, is you got married at this stage. But you're pretty devoted to this new business of yours. And the marriage falls apart.

JAMES: Well, I was married to that shop, first and foremost, you know? I was married to West Coast Choppers for the last 17 years. Anything else was secondary, you know?

MORGAN: When you then get remarried to a porn star, Janine, who is abusive to you. And that's where -- when I read the book, I start to see the seeds perhaps of a lot of the problems that follow you later. You know, you've been punched by your father. You get -- you get beaten up by this -- by this adult entertainment star wife of yours.

JAMES: Well, I think that's what was going -- I mean, you know, that relationship was going to what I know -- the chaos and everything was exactly what I grew up with. So, I'm going to what I'm comfortable with.

MORGAN: So you were drawn to it?

JAMES: Yes. You know, I didn't see it as -- like that seemed like home to me.

You know, soon after that is when, you know, Sandy walked into my life. And it was like the complete opposite of Janine. You know? Stable, has her own job, and has -- you know, well spoken. And you know, kind of you know, America's sweetheart -- you now, that typical girl next door.

And like compared to like something that was chaos, you know, I kind of -- like wow, that's what I need to -- you know, that's the kind of person I need to be with, you know?

MORGAN: When you first get together with Sandra, tell me about the early days. Where did you meet her?

JAMES: I met her at the shop. She brought her godson in to meet me. And - and who was a big fan of like the Shop, and "Monster Garage."

MORGAN: And you're not a likely couple if you don't mind me saying that. When I first saw you together, I was like you're clearly a kind of, you know, I would say exactly what you portray in the book. You're a bad boy. Bad boy with tattoos, as you said. You know, being --


JAMES: Hey, wait, man.

MORGAN: -- a security guy at concerts.

JAMES: I got --

MORGAN: He's married to America's little sweetheart. You're not a natural fit.

JAMES: Well, you know, hey. You can't ever pick and choose who you want to be with, you know? When you fall in love with someone and it happens.

MORGAN: Was it love at first sight you think?

JAMES: I think it was for me to a certain extent. I don't know if -- I think, you know, we -- there was a courtship, and we fell in love. And, you know, it was kind of -- it's pretty well-documented.

MORGAN: Yes. I know it is, but that's -- that's been how you're life has been every since.

JAMES: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: You went to the goldfish bowl when you -- when you get together with a movie star; especially one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Your life is no longer private. I mean, you found that out the hard way.

JAMES: I mean, I've kind of been like that since I was like in junior high school. I've just been one of those people that people like to tell stories about and talk about. You know, so I'm kind of used to it on a much --


MORGAN: Like a magnet for gossip?

JAMES: Yes, on a -- I'm like always the guy that like everyone wants to fight. And I'm always the person that people talk smack about.

MORGAN: When you start going out together, as I say, you're an unlikely couple. What was it do you think that made it work for so long? What were the things that you had in common?

JAMES: I think, you know, definitely the kids, and our like interests in, you know -- I don't know. I mean, I really loved her. So, you know, I think trying to look back now at like what that one thing was that made it work, you know, I can't really name any one thing. You know, I think we --

MORGAN: When you asked her to marry you after just six months, that's quite quick. You must have been sure then that this was the one for you? JAMES: I was pretty sure.

MORGAN: Does any part of you think you've got a little devil on your shoulder? Given everything you've been through before, did you worry that although it all seemed so normal and nice and perfect for you, actually your character, your personality doesn't allow that kind of thing?

JAMES: I don't think I ever had like a devil on my shoulder or something like that. But I think myself -- like I had no business being in a relationship with anyone. You know, it could have been Sandy or Janine or Carla, or anyone, and it would have never worked.


JAMES: Because the problem was with me. It wasn't with them or the relationship, or anything, you know? Because I never thought highly or -- of myself or never loved myself. I was never comfortable in my own skin. You know, I was still trying to like put up this big front of like, you know, I'm a bad ass bike builder or bodyguard or football player -- any of the stuff that I've tried to put out there.

And to try to maintain a relationship with someone when I don't like myself, it was doomed from the start.

MORGAN: We're going to take a break. When we come back I want to talk to you about the scandal that broke involving you and Sandra.



SANDRA BULLOCK, ACTRESS: To my husband: there's no-- there's 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.



MORGAN: Well, Jesse James, I mean, that's painful to watch for me. And I hardly know Sandra. I met her once in my life. And I think everyone watching you feels for her every time they see it, because clearly she doesn't know what's coming. You didn't know what was coming, but you knew what you were doing.

When you watch that, and it was her at the Golden Globes just before I saw you at the Oscars -- what do you think watching that back now?

JAMES: Oh, it just makes me sad, you know? It's sad that, you know, I -- not for myself, but for her, you know? To put her through what I put her through, you know? So --

MORGAN: Yes, but I mean, do you hate yourself for doing that?

JAMES: I think I've forgiven myself for what I've done. You know?

MORGAN: Has she forgiven you?

JAMES: I think so. I think, you know, she's in a place of forgiveness, you know. And, you know, it just -- I mean, it sucks to have these kind of problems that like millions of couples have, and everyone has. But on such a like global level, you know? Because you know, everything played out. You know, it was like wild fire and it played out in the media in such a horrible way, you know?

Like -- which, you know, seems kind of unfair to me at a point. But, you know, I stood up like a man and took it on the chin.

MORGAN: Aren't you -- I mean, aren't you completely to blame? I mean, is a life of being with a big, hardworking movie star all it's cracked up to be? Can it be lonely to be that guy?

JAMES: I don't know -- well, I think for the -- everything that happens, I'm 100 percent to blame. You know, I take full accountability for my actions, you know? No one was holding a gun to my head to do what I did.

MORGAN: I want to read you an extract from the book that you wrote about the moment that you tell Sandra, because it was very powerful there.

"Sandy came in and sat down on a chair. I closed the door after her, and sat down myself. We stared at each other, and then finally I told her the truth. I admitted the affair. I told her the hard details. I let her know that I'd never loved this woman. I never cared for her at all. Then Sandy asked me why I had done it, but I had no answer for her."

Well, what do you think when you hear that back?

JAMES: Well, it just kind of takes me back to that day. It was sad. You know, it's tough to tell somebody -- someone that you love -- it's tough to tell them something when you know when you tell them you're never going to see them again.

MORGAN: And you knew that?

JAMES: Yes, I was pretty sure, you know?

MORGAN: Did she have any inkling about what had been going on?

JAMES: I think there were some suspicions, you know, which were right on her part. But, you know, it just -- it -- you know, I think she was -- you know, it came out of left field. You know, she wasn't ready for it or anything like that.

MORGAN: You said in the book you -- you heard a voice in the back of your mind that said, "Get out of this while you still can?"

JAMES: I -- yes. And I think, you know, I knew, you knew part -- it was a internal struggle, because I mean, I think turning to like infidelity or something to like, you know, either stroke my ego, or whatever it was, you know? That -- it -- I don't think it was a decision I made, you know, 100 percent willingly, or like vindictively, or anything like that. It was a struggle, you know? And it was -- made me feel worse than before it happened. So --

MORGAN: Sandra is a pretty private person. How has she been about the book?

JAMES: I don't know. I don't really talk to her. So like I don't --

MORGAN: You don't talk to her at all?

JAMES: Nope.

MORGAN: Then it's really nothing?

JAMES: Nothing.

MORGAN: When was the last time you spoke to her?

JAMES: Several months ago.

MORGAN: How do you know she's forgiven you?

JAMES: Well, she told me before that she forgives me. So --

MORGAN: Do you think she understands you better than perhaps other people do?

JAMES: I think so. I think -- well, I don't know about other people. I mean, there's probably people that I'm closer to now than I ever was to her, you know?

MORGAN: Your current partner?

JAMES: I think so.

MORGAN: That's interesting. Why do you think that is?

JAMES: I think --

MORGAN: Have you changed?

JAMES: I think so. I think I was willing to do the hard work, and take a look at the stuff I never wanted to look at, or the stuff I wanted to ignore. Like stuff that I talk about in the book. And you know, with Kat. That I have a partner that's like, you know, we're connected on a higher level.

MORGAN: I mean, on a superficial level I look at her -- Kat. And I look at you, and I see a perfect fit. You're both covered in tattoos. You -- she's a rock chick. You know, you like your bikes. It's like I get that.

It's -- and you know -- given your previous partners, and then Kat now, it's starting to -- just seems like this weird time in your life that just -- it's never going to work.

JAMES: Well, and that's a question to ask. You know, was it just my ego? Was it me trying to be a big shot? Like, "Oh, I'm Jesse James. I'm bad (EXPLETIVE DELETED), and I can have like a movie star for a wife."

MORGAN: Was it that?

JAMES: I -- you know? I think a lot of that was. I think it was my ego. And it was my ego why I didn't -- why I hurt her. And why I didn't just leave the relationship when I should have. You know? Because my ego said, "Oh, well, I need this wife to -- so I'm cool. Or people like me," or whatever. Which is the -- the bad recipe for anything, you know? I think you should follow your heart, and what's really right for you.

And meeting someone like Kat will -- not meeting her. I mean, we were friends for a long time, and like friends. And mutual respect, and it just -- I think maybe that was the problem. I don't think Sandy and I were ever really friends. You know, we were -- went right into relationship, and then marriage. And then, you know, right into that, and never really friends. And you know, Kat and I seem to be connected on like such a higher level.

I mean, we have like such a deeper understanding of each other. And, you know, a outlook on the world, and -- and stuff like that. And -- and man, she's a bad ass too. Like she'll -- you think I'm bad, and I'll browbeat you. You should interview her. She'll scare the hell out of you.

MORGAN: I mean, one of the things about I guess when you marry a movie star, and it all goes wrong, the -- the last place you want to be is Hollywood. Because suddenly you were in that world. And then bang, you're the bad guy everybody hates.

JAMES: Yes, well, you know, hey, I -- you know, the first press statement I -- I said that I'll -- I deserve everything bad that's coming my way. And -- and I stand behind that, you know? People -- this book is coming out this week, and people will take another opportunity to like say all kinds of bad stuff, and make up stories and whatever.

But let them. I don't really care anymore, you know? If people -- I can be the villain, and she'll always be America's sweetheart, you know?

MORGAN: We're going to take another short break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about the worst time for you. I mean, hit rock bottom after this -- and then how you came back from that.

JAMES: Cool.



UNKNOWN MALE: Can I get a autograph from you, please?

UNKNOWN MALE: Hey, don't block me, man.

UNKNOWN MALE: You got to let her get out. You got to let her get out.


JAMES: Good.

MORGAN: Well, that was a (inaudible) complete sort of paparazzi madness for you and Sandra. The height of your relationship in that -- that public glare. As you said before the break, you know, afterwards it was worse than you thought it would be when it all came out. At its absolute worst, what were you going through?

JAMES: Well, I think this stuff is just trying to protect the kids, cause I'm a dad first and foremost. And trying to protect the kids from, you know, anything, you know? Like, you know, women, reporters, like waiting outside my house so they can right in front of like my six year old daughter, you know -- you know asking me if I'm a Nazi. And asking me how many whores I've been with and stuff like that in front of my kids, you know?

And it's just like -- you know, it's freedom of speech. I can't really stop them. And you know, it's just it -- it just was bad. And I think I started -- you know, my initial reaction would be to like just, you know, let them have it. Not the women, but like some of the more aggressive male paparazzi. I mean, one of the guys that sat out in front of my house for months was the guy that Mike Tyson knocked out. And the guy is just like relentless. I mean, just saying -- they're trying to get me to hit them. That's those guys' dream for me to like attack them.

MORGAN: I mean, the paparazzi, the media, the -- the tabloid, T.V. all that kind of thing -- it kind of goes with the territory. Yes, I'm not going to defend all their practices.

JAMES: Well --

MORGAN: And some go for the top. But of course it -- it is chicken and the egg. If you hadn't given them the juicy bone to gnaw on, they wouldn't be there.

JAMES: Yes. You know, I totally get that. But when it's day in and day out for six months or four months or whatever. And I can't -- there's nowhere to hide. You know, I only go from my house, take the kids to school, and go to the shop. That's the three places I go for months. And they're waiting at all three places...

MORGAN: I mean, when you went down to the newsstand, and you saw endless magazine covers absolutely pillorying you...

JAMES: I never went to the news stand.

MORGAN: Well, allow me to enlighten you. You were not the most popular guy in America. I mean, a lot of people, particularly women, hated you cause of what you had done, as you say, to America's sweetheart.

JAMES: Yes. I think those people barely liked me anyway.

MORGAN: Do you care now what they think?

JAMES: I couldn't care less, really. Honestly, I could care -- couldn't care less what anybody thinks, you know? I mean, some of the stuff they said, like calling me a Nazi, and stuff like that, which is like, you know -- it was -- it was just so outlandish...

MORGAN: I mean, they called you that because you wore Nazi memorabilia.

JAMES: So did -- so did the prince of your country.

MORGAN: True. He did.

JAMES: Is he a Nazi?

MORGAN: Nope. I don't believe he is.

JAMES: Neither am I.

MORGAN: Have you ever had Nazi sympathies?


MORGAN: Nothing?


MORGAN: Why did you --

JAMES: I have Jewish relatives.


JAMES: You know, I've been to Israel. I would never sympathize with anybody that's persecuted. And you know, Nazi's were pure evil, you know?

MORGAN: Why -- why pose like that?

JAMES: It was a joke. I mean, it was obviously done at my house that -- and it was done a decade ago. You know, I think whatever magazine ran that, they made it sound like it was taken that week. And the way they worded the article and that stuff -- and it just, you know? It's a business. They paid 200,000 dollars for that shot.

MORGAN: You don't collect any Nazi memorabilia?

JAMES: No. I collect German cars -- like World War II era Volkswagen is what I collect. And I've collected them since I -- I've been in high school, you know? (CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: So you think that some people might -- might put that together with the picture, and get the wrong idea about you?

JAMES: I -- I think if you wanted to like point to anything and find some kind of like racism or anti-Semitism or anything, if you really looked at it long enough, you could build up whatever scenario you have. But do the math. You know, I grew up in -- I was born in South Central L.A. I grew up in a all Black and all Hispanic neighborhood.

I was the only White kid. I was the one discriminated against. I would never have -- you know, I grew up around people that were bigots and racist, and like told myself that I would never ever be that way no matter what.

MORGAN: If Sandra is watching this, which she might well be, how would you feel towards her listening to the way that you've talked about her?

JAMES: Talked about her, or talked about --

MORGAN: Yes. You've been -- you've been pretty frank. I mean...

JAMES: Well, I -- there's still like a lot of -- a level of respect for her. And I wouldn't, you know, say anything ever disparaging. I just -- I don't, you know -- I've already -- you know, it's -- it's a fine line between me wanting to -- you know, promote a book that's my life story, and like not hurting feelings that I've already hurt enough.

You know, I don't want to hurt her anymore. I don't want, you know, her family and anybody in -- in my family, or anybody else, to go through any pain any more. But I wanted to tell my story, you know?

I'm not going to hide. I'm not -- you know, I'm -- I think I have a pretty viable T.V. career. And I'm good at what I do. And I'm going to continue to do it, you know? I made mistakes, and it's up to me to move past it.

MORGAN: Another break. And when we come back I want to talk to you about you as a father, and all the children involved in this.



JAMES: Yes. Check out mine. I just got my new trim piece.


JAMES: Look at my new pipe. Look at my El Camino. Its now got a hole where everything was. Does that make me a bad person, 402 cubic inch four barrel carb. You know, it's the real deal.


MORGAN: That was Jesse James in "Monster Garage." He's back with me now.

JAMES: What is -- well, Monster what?

MORGAN: Garage we call it in England. What do you call it?

JAMES: Garage.

MORGAN: Garage.

JAMES: Garage or Garage?

MORGAN: Garage actually sounds posher than I said it. Garage. Really? Is that what you call it?

JAMES: I think that's the first time I heard it called that.

MORGAN: Now tell me about the people I guess who matter most in all this. Certainly reading the book I got the sense that you appreciate that, and that's all the children involved. Let's start for some of the babies that you adopted with Sandra. That seems a particularly difficult situation to -- to try and deal with now.

JAMES: Well, I don't -- I don't think so much now, because I've kind of come to grips with the reality of it, and the situation that I can't control. So, you know, I think once I did that it -- it kind of, you know, became less painful.

MORGAN: Are you -- are you allowed to see the child?

JAMES: I've never -- never saw him. So --

MORGAN: Since you left?


MORGAN: So how long has that been now?

JAMES: Its been a year. So --

MORGAN: So that must be hurtful. Isn't it?

JAMES: Well, I think it will always be a source of pain, you know? I hope that some day when he grows up that he knows that, you know -- you know, he had a good dad, or still has one. You know? If the opportunity to be part of his life ever presents itself, of course, you know I'll step up and --

MORGAN: Have you tried to -- to get access?


MORGAN: And its been denied to you?


MORGAN: On what grounds?

JAMES: I don't know if grounds were given. Just, you know -- and, you know, if anything I think it taught me -- I have to appreciate the three kids that I do have.

MORGAN: I mean, they -- they in turn presumably don't see Sandra. And that must be hurtful and difficult for them.

JAMES: Yes. They also don't see their little brother too. So --

MORGAN: I mean, it's -- it's a horrible situation.

JAMES: Well, I think any marriage that ends and kids are involved, or some kind of trauma, or whatever, you know, infidelity or whatever -- this is like real life in America or in the world playing itself out. You know, there's always going to be people that are hurt. And you know, it's the byproduct of, you know, poor decisions and -- and bad actions.

So you know, I -- I've kind of done my best to like, you know, corral the situation, and make sure my kids are happy and health, and well cared for, and -- and taken care of in the best possible way. And have a dad that's like present every day.

MORGAN: Do they ask you why they can't see their little brother?

JAMES: They -- they do. You know, there's questions. I think it's been the hardest for Sunny (ph). Because you know -- you know -- you know, Sandy was Sunny's mom, you know, more than her real mom. And you know, it's -- you know, I'm left in the middle to like explain.

I think the older kids understand the situation and understand, hey, that's the definition of divorce. You know, hey gone, splitting, separation, you know?

MORGAN: The -- the finality of the picture that you're painting suggests that Sandra -- I mean, you -- you may hope that she's forgiven you. But certainly nothing in this suggests that she wants much to do with you.

It's hard to imagine. When you watch the Golden Globes clip, when you look back at the Oscars, it was the greatest time of her career. And it was all kind of taken away, and she was exposed to pretty relentless humiliation. I mean, there's not many things worse for a woman. And to do it all in the public glare -- if you put yourself in her shoes...

JAMES: Well, I -- I don't think it's any different than a normal housewife that gets cheated on that, you know, gets in the public glare of her three block radius. Because that's what her life means. You know, I think it's all in perspective.

You know, and -- and -- you know? I know I did bad stuff. So, you know, I'm fully accountable for that.

MORGAN: Going to take a final break, when we come back I want to talk to you about the "Celebrity Apprentice," where we first met, and also about the...



TRUMP: I will say this, that Piers couldn't figure you out. He didn't get it.

Piers didn't like the fact that you could have raised a lot of money and you didn't.

So Jesse, you're fired. Great job.


MORGAN: And that was the moment you got fired from "Celebrity Apprentice," mainly down to me, cause I've been drafted into --..


JAMES: You take pride in that, don't you?

MORGAN: Well, I kind of thought you deserved it, cause I couldn't get --


JAMES: That's only the second job I've ever been fired from.

MORGAN: Really?

JAMES: Yes, the -- the first one was for punching a customer.

MORGAN: I mean, I admire -- to be honest with you, I admired your -- I admired what you were saying, in the sense that you were entering independently; didn't want to rely on Sandra's money. Obviously had I known what I know now, I would have been less keen to see Sandra's money heading your way for the show.

But at the time, I just remember you --


JAMES: You Hollywood people, and your like perception of like, "Hey, let's get free money from movie people, or --


(CROSSTALK) JAMES: That's not the real world. The real world is like people work their asses off for 50 hours a week, and then get a paycheck, or make something and hand it to someone and get paid for it. That's how the real world is. The real world isn't like --

MORGAN: But you weren't in the real world. You were in fantasy world. You were married to a movie star making 20 million dollars.

JAMES: Yes, but I was still working every day at my shop like a dog, like seven days a week.

MORGAN: I mean, you could have won the Apprentice I reckon had you played that card; had you raised more money.

JAMES: Yes, but I don't know. That's the easy way; looking for a handout.

MORGAN: Your new lady, Kat Von D, the famous tattoo artist. Did you get freebies then?

JAMES: Yes. I get 50 percent off.

MORGAN: You love your tattoos, don't you?

JAMES: I -- I like them.

MORGAN: On you, on your women. I mean, you like tattoos.

JAMES: I like it. It's like doodling. I see myself without tattoos, and it looks like a coloring book that wasn't colored in. It looks -- I hate it.

MORGAN: Kat Von D, tell me about -- I mean, you've already discussed why you think you're better suited to her. Are -- are you engaged?


MORGAN: Are -- are you married, cause you got a wedding ring on?

JAMES: Well, she got me a ring made, and -- and gave it to me. So I'm wearing it, but we're not married yet.

MORGAN: When are you planning to get married?

JAMES: I don't know. Pretty soon.

MORGAN: Well, you're a brave man. This is number four, right?

JAMES: Yes. I've been married for like 20 years if you add them all together.

MORGAN: You -- are you an incurable romantic? I mean...

JAMES: No. I think -- you know, I'm not a quitter. And I'm not -- you know, I still believe in love and romance. And you know, she's just awesome, you know?

MORGAN: Do you think you may --


JAMES: I think it -- I think me wanting to get married a fourth time isn't about me. It's about how amazing that woman is. You know?

MORGAN: Do you believe you may have found true love?

JAMES: I think so. I've never felt the way I do, you know, for anyone the way I feel for her. I've never had that feeling. And I've never had someone like have my back 100 percent, you know? And stick by me when everyone turned their back. And she says, "[EXPLETIVE DELETED] it, I'm -- you know, I'm your friend, and -- and I -- I stand by you. I don't care what anybody says." You know?

And I think that's the definition of like what, you know, people that care about each other should be...


MORGAN: I mean, the irony, of course, is we heard a clip earlier from Sandra saying exactly that. She felt that was what you were to her.

JAMES: She didn't say exactly that.

MORGAN: Pretty much. Said that you were the rock.

JAMES: Yes, but you know, she said that same speech at four different award shows. You saw two of them. So...

MORGAN: What's your point?

JAMES: I don't know. You can take out of it whatever you get out of it, you know?

MORGAN: You don't think she meant it?

JAMES: I -- I think she meant it to a certain extent, you know? What does she do for a living?

MORGAN: Movie star, actor.

JAMES: Yes. What?

MORGAN: An actor.

JAMES: Oh, OK. Cool.

MORGAN: You think it was an act?

JAMES: I -- I think you know, that whole -- that, you know, people that have to live in that world, and -- and --

MORGAN: Are you glad to be out of it?

JAMES: Man -- 100 percent. I just can't like -- I just -- you know, I -- I don't know. I don't know how I survived in there as long as I did. Because it's just like -- I mean, you're cool. But the rest of those people -- I just can't hang with them. I just -- I just -- I don't know. It's not --

MORGAN: Aren't -- I mean, they're all pretty fake? Is that what you're saying?

JAMES: It's just pretend. It's not real. I like -- I'm like the guy that goes to a shop. And I don't hang out in the office. I go to the back of the shop, and hang out with the guys that are all greasy, dirty. And that's -- that's where I belong, you know? And it's more about myself, and like where I belong in this world.

And I don't belong, you know, trying to think that I'm some fancy -- you know, because my wife is fancy, that makes me fancy. You know, it's just -- it's bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

MORGAN: And yet that's kind of why you went into the relationship; just listening to you earlier.

JAMES: Yes, I think so. I think it was pure -- it was a lot of ego, and a lot of like perception of what I thought I should have; not what I needed. And I think it was more of a -- a -- you know, a testament of what I felt about myself.

MORGAN: Do you think you're capable now of being faithful?

JAMES: I think so, you know? I think it's something that's like a conscious day to day, you know, thought process. And -- and, you know, I think I'm vocal with, you know, Kat, that if I don't get something that I'm needing or, some kind of affection or whatever, and vice versa -- both of us are committed to work on our relationship together. And make sure we're 100 percent what each of us want for each other.

And I -- I've never had a partner that did that. You know, its always been, you know, either my way or the highway, or you know, something like that. And man, she's like -- you know, she's committed to like being everything that I want her to be, and same here. You know, I -- I love her like crazy. And it's like -- you know, people I think on their T.V. show, they only get to see a small, little portion of how great she is. But she's -- she's amazing. She's...

MORGAN: Well, Jesse, I wish you luck.

JAMES: Thanks Piers. Good seeing you.

MORGAN: And I hope that we don't have to meet in a couple years and discover another terrible scandal cascading on your head.

JAMES: No. I think I'm done with all that. Thank you.

MORGAN: Thank you. Monday night, my prime time exclusive with Donny and Marie Osmond, their 40 year career, Marie's family heartbreak, and Donny's special rendition of the song that's tormented both of us for years.


MORGAN: What I really want to hear -- this is just for me. I just want to hear one more time the song that broke my heart.

MARIE OSMOND, ACTRESS: That wasn't our song.


MORGAN: I want a little bit of "Puppy Love," It's a song that you've loved and hated all your life. Now I want a bit of "Puppy Love."

DONNY OSMOND, SINGER: Undo my microphone.

M. OSMOND: You don't know what you do when you do this.

MORGAN: What are you doing.

D. OSMOND: And -- wait, no bad lighting. There's my -- there's my camera.



MORGAN: He's not the only one. That's Donny and Marie Osmond Monday night. Now here's John King, in for Anderson Cooper, on "AC 360."