The Story Behind Sandra Bullock’s Ex-Husband Jesse James

While there are few people who have never heard the name Sandra Bullock or seen one of her movies, her ex-husband Jesse James is less talked about. By no means does that mean he isn’t famous in his own right. He’s a major television personality, successful businessman, top-tier mechanic, and the former spouse to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. However, there’s still a lot that the public doesn’t know about the life of Jesse James.

They First Clicked In 2003

Picture of the couple
Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images
Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

Jesse James and Sandra Bullock first met back in December 2003 when Bullock took her godson to see Jesse’s garage, West Coast Choppers. He was a fan of James’ show Monster Garage. A tale as old as time, the two got to talking and they felt a connection.

Just two years later, the two would marry, and on top of gaining a husband, Bullock would also become the stepmother to James’ three children, Chandler, Jr., and Sunny.

Things Appeared To Be Going Well

Picture of the couple
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

For some time, it appeared that the two stars had a loving relationship, accompanying each other at red carpet events, and being seen out in public together. As a sign of their love, Bullock mentioned James during her Best Actress win for The Blind Side at the Academy Awards.

She said, “To my husband, there is 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.”

Things Took A Turn

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Eric Charbonneau/WireImage for Vanity Fair Magazine
Eric Charbonneau/WireImage for Vanity Fair Magazine

Yet, things turned sour after rumors began to spread that James was being unfaithful in their relationship. As a result, Bullock filed for divorce in April which was finalized in June of 2010.

However, the divorce didn’t end up all bad, as Bullock would quickly go on to adopt her son, Louis, later that year. Bullock would clearly fall in love with being an adoptive mother, as she would adopt another daughter named Laila.

Bullock Eventually Moved On

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Raymond Hall/GC Images
Raymond Hall/GC Images

Although Bullock wasn’t necessarily looking for love following her divorce, it found her when she hired professional photographer Bryan Randall for her son’s birthday party in 2015. The two have been dating ever since, with Randall also serving as Louis and Laila’s stepfather.

According to a source close to Bullock, “Sandra has been through [it all], she never thought she’d get past the heartbreaking and humiliating breakup with Jesse […] But meeting [Bryan] was literally a godsend.”

Jesse Is A Full-Fledged Television Star

Picture of James
Albert L. Ortega/WireImage
Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

Jesse has no shortage of television shows, including his major programs Jesse James: Outlaw Garage and Monster Garage. On top of those two, he also stars in Jesse James Is a Dead Man, Motorcycle Mania, Bike and Builder, and Jesse James Austin Speed Shop, among others.

Even before opening up his shop West Coast Choppers in 1992, Jesse was a successful guy, acting as the CEO for garage Austin Speed Shop. At that time, it was clear that Jesse was destined for great things.

He’s Had A Number Of Marriages

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Ethan Miller/WireImage
Ethan Miller/WireImage

By no means was movie star Sandra Bullock the only woman that James has ever walked down the aisle with. His first wife was Karla James from 1991 to 2002, with his second marriage being to Janine Lindemulder from 2002 to 2004.

Bullock was his third wife, and after their divorce in 2010, James married his fourth wife, Alexis DeJoria. James and Alexis remained married for seven years until James announced on Instagram that the two were ending their marriage.

He’s A Father From Two Of The Marriages

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Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Although Bullock and James never had any children of their own, James has three children from two of his prior relationships. The television star has a son Jesse James Jr. and daughter Chandler James with his ex-wife Carla and a daughter, Sunny James, with his other ex-wife Janine.

Although this may seem like an unusual family to some, by no means does it indicate that James isn’t a good father who isn’t always looking out for his children.

He’s Also A Grandfather

Picture of James
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Many may not see the hardcore Jesse James as the kind of man that looks like a grandfather, although he certainly is one. This happened when his daughter Chandler gave birth in March 2020.

In excitement, James took to Instagram, writing, “Finally got to meet my granddaughter, Ginger, on Easter Sunday … I’m so in love with her […] Also, it’s amazing to witness the ‘parent’ instinct kick in with Chandler and [her husband] Dennis.”

He Blames Himself For His Failed Relationship With Bullock

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

When rumors about James’ infidelity finally began to make their way to the public, James did the right thing and made a public apology to Bullock and his three children.

In his statement, he said, “There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me. This has caused my wife and kids pain and embarrassment beyond comprehension, and I am extremely saddened to have brought this on them… I hope one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

He’s Worth $100 Million

Picture of James
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Despite being married to Sandra Bullock, who has been the highest-paid actress in the world on two separate occasions, James has done well for himself financially as well. Through all of his years of working, television shows, business ventures, and more, he has a net of around $100 million!

For most mechanics, this is an absurd amount of money, but James also has a mind for business, which has allowed him to make his mark on the world.

He’s A Gunsmith On The Side

Picture of James
Albert L. Ortega/WireImage
Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

While everyone may know Jesse James as the skilled mechanic that he is, fixing motorized vehicles isn’t the only thing he can do with his hands. He also crafts very high-end firearms, with some of his most impressive creations being part of his Cisco 1911 series called Lady Liberty.

Using original pieces of the handrail from the Statue of Liberty, he made three guns, each of which sold for a whopping $85,000! He also has an impressive customer base that includes the likes of Angelina Jolie.

He Was A Bodyguard For Bands

Picture of James
Luca Ghidoni/Getty Images
Luca Ghidoni/Getty Images

It comes as little surprise that James spent a part of his life working as a bodyguard for some time. However, it turns out that he was the bodyguard for bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, and Danzig, among others.

After around a year of this type of work, James began taking on more managerial responsibilities, although he didn’t enjoy the position. After a stage dive gone wrong during a White Zombie Concert, James quit the business.

Motorcycle Mania Turned Jesse James Into A Star

Picture of James
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel

Long before he was the Jesse James that we all know today, James was still hard at work on his West Coast Choppers business. Eventually, Discovery approached him, who was making a motorcycle documentary titled Motorcycle Mania that showed James and West Coast Choppers to the world.

After the documentary’s success, Discovery offered James a job as a host on Monster Garage, and the rest is history. After that, it wouldn’t be long before he began building a motorcycle empire of his own.

He Has His Own Comic Book

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Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

One of James’ many television series was Jesse James is a Dead Man, which features James performing incredible stunts in front of the camera. Although the show only lasted a few seasons, Marvel produced a comic book that was offered for free to promote the show in 2009.

The comic was written by Mac Foster and illustrated by Jackson Herbert and Kristin Sorra, featuring James on the front engulfed in flame. Most other mechanics can’t say they have their own comic book!

He Re-Opened West Coast Choppers In The Mid-West

Picture of James
KMazur/WireImage
KMazur/WireImage

After James’ divorce from Sandra Bullock, James was forced to shut down his West Coast Choppers location in Long Beach, where it had been for years. However, in recent years, James re-opened the shop in Dripping Springs, Texas.

Although it may not be as big as an operation as it once was, Jesse is still producing the types of motorcycles he made a name for himself building. Clearly, location has nothing to do with Jesse’s skill.

He Has A Goal Of Reaching 200 MPH

Picture of James
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Throughout his time on Monster Garage, James was always looking to reach a top speed of 200 MPH. Over the years, James was known for working on some of the coolest cars on the show and several different specialty teams.

Regardless of all his experience and opportunity to work with different people, Jesse’s dream is yet to become a reality. So far, the closest he came was 185 MPH from a jet car build-out of a Celica.

He Owned A Burger Joint

Picture of a car
Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

While still married to Sandra Bullock, the two owned Cisco Burger, a burger restaurant that he had named after his deceased pit bull. It claimed to provide Long beach with eco-friendly food with an old-school burger style.

However, since his marriage ended with Bullock, so did Cisco Burger. The location in Long Beach was shut down, and any of James’ dreams to turn it into a franchise never became a reality. All that remains of the restaurant is a social media page from 2013.

He Was Fined By The State Of California

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Ray Mickshaw/WireImage
Ray Mickshaw/WireImage

In 2007, Jesse James received a hefty bill of $271,250 by the California Air Resources Board, who claimed that the motorcycles James made between 1998 and 2005 let off 10 times the legal limit of hydrocarbons. Supposedly, this is because James’ custom bikes wouldn’t allow for the proper equipment.

Although James attempted to negotiate to fix all of the bikes to comply with regulation, CARB wasn’t having any of it and insisted that he paid the money in full.

He Declined To Make A Bike For Sylvester Stallone

Picture of James
Desiree Navarro/FilmMagic
Desiree Navarro/FilmMagic

Because of James’ reputation as one of the most skilled custom motorcycle builders around, he receives many high-end clientele looking to add a motorcycle to their collection. However, Jesse also reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, which is exactly what he did to A-list actor Sylvester Stallone.

In an interview with Graham Bensinger, James admits that he refused to build a custom bike for Sylvester Stallone. This is because Stallone wanted a yellow bike to match his cars, and Jesse refused to build a yellow bike.

He Has His Own Merchandise

jesse james wearing a hat
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

On top of his own shop, production company, television shows, and more, James also once turned his attention to apparel. For some time, James had a deal with Walmart in which he sold his own line of clothing and apparel for “West Coast Choppers,” which is still available for purchase online.

But that wasn’t enough for James, as he later designed and sold his own line of protective clothing that he called “Jesse James Workwear.”