Jesse James' former stepmother has taken aim at Sandra Bullock's estranged husband after he alleged his father beat him as a child in a TV interview. He opened up about the affairs that wrecked his marriage during an interview with U.S. newswoman Vicki Mabrey on Tuesday night, May 25, and during the candid Nightline chat he blamed his troubled childhood for contributing to his bad behavior as an adult.
James fought back tears as he described his turbulent relationship with his dad Larry and went on to accuse his father of beating him up and breaking his arm when he was just seven years old. He said, "My whole childhood, I never had a chance to be a kid. I remember the clenched-teeth, strained-neck look on his face. He beat my a** pretty good a bunch of times. Football star, bike builder, Monster Garage TV star - all that stuff is a huge smokescreen, so people won't see that I'm a scared, abused kid, a seven year old."
"I remember my dad laughed when I hit the ground and called me a dummy. It wasn't getting the s**t beat out of me... It was the in-between time, the fear of that happening again. I was a terrorized kid. It's really tough for me to think about now, because...(my daughter) Sunny's the age that I was ... when my dad broke my arm."
Larry James denied the allegations in an email to America's ABC News, and now his ex-wife, Janina James Coan, has stepped forward in his defence, branding the claims "a bunch of crap". Coan, who began dating James, Sr. when Jesse was six, reveals father and son fell out when the future star was a teenager, but she is "appalled" at the suggestion that her ex was an abusive dad.
She tells TMZ.com, "Larry was the most caring father, the kindest father who would do anything for anybody. He loved Jesse to death and would brag about him all the time." Coan claims Jesse and his father became estranged when James, Sr. reported his son to the cops when he discovered he'd robbed a store with a friend. Coan says Jesse ended up in juvenile hall and was very upset that his dad turned him in.