American television personality and CEO of West Coast Choppers, a manufacturer of custom-made motorcycles. James was the host of the reality TV series Jesse James is a Dead Man on Spike TV, and of the reality series Monster Garage, on the Discovery Channel, and the focus of the documentary Motorcycle Mania, also on Discovery. James also appeared in the Tony Hawk's Underground 2 video game.
Custom motorcycles and cars:
After several years working as a bodyguard for Danzig and occasionally for other heavy metal bands such as Slayer and Soundgarden, James opened West Coast Choppers in his mother's garage in 1992. The company grew quickly and soon moved to a larger facility for select customers and companies. About 200 bikes have been built at West Coast Choppers. West Coast Choppers is also sponsoring race teams in Top Fuel Drags and Super Late Model NASCAR. James recently bought custom car business Austin Speed Shop and has expanded into the custom car business. James has also built and is racing an off-road Trophy Truck and a Figure-8 race car.
Other business ventures:
He is the owner of the Cisco Burger restaurant, which opened on April 28, 2006, just down the street from West Coast Choppers. The 1950s style hamburger stand — named after his beloved pit bull who is now deceased — features Angus beef burgers, low-fat burritos, organic vegetables, and biodegradable wrappings. James also has partial ownership in the South Austin Speed Shop in Austin, Texas.
Other business ventures include the Chopperdogs fan club and the Jesse's Girl clothing line. Since 2006, James has nationally published Garage magazine.Television:
In 2000, the Discovery Channel made the documentary Motorcycle Mania, which chronicled James' everyday life. Following the success of the documentary, the Discovery Channel approached James with an offer to host a new show called Monster Garage where James and a crew of mechanics modified vehicles under a short deadline.
James later established Payupsucker Productions, under which he produced shows like History of the Chopper, Iraq Confidential with Jesse James and Green Scream, in which James plans to break the land speed record with an eco-friendly hydrogen car.
Through James' show "History Of The Chopper" there are also glimpses of his involvement with the Hells Angels and other 1% outlaw motorcycle clubs.
He appeared on the second season of Celebrity Apprentice. Each celebrity played to raise money for a favorite charity; James selected to play for the Long Beach Education Foundation. Due to his poor performance in raising funds, James was eliminated by Donald Trump on the second-to-last show (ultimately placing 3rd) which aired May 3, 2009. Trump repeatedly cited James' stoic refusal to contact then-wife Bullock to raise funds for the show's challenges, though other celebrities had no problem tapping high-rolling contacts for cash.
His show Jesse James is a Dead Man premiered on Spike TV on May 31, 2009. The show features James doing death defying stunts. The first episode set a ratings record for Spike, drawing the largest audience ever for an unscripted series on the network, with 2 million viewers. The show is produced by Spike TV, BASE Productions and James' company, PayupSucker Productions.
In conjunction with that appearance Marvel Comics created a special one-shot comic book where he evades death once again after considering retirement, and made it available in comic book stores for free distribution.
James has appeared on an episode of Street Customs where he had his pickup truck customized by West Coast Customs.
He appeared in an ad for T-Mobile's Google cell phone with Whoopi Goldberg and Phil Jackson
Family, relationships, and infidelity
James' Discovery Channel website states that his great-great-grandfather was the famous outlaw's cousin. However, Eric James, president of the James Preservation Trust, which tracks claims of being a relative of the outlaw, says it cannot find a record of him in the family tree, and has asked him to provide a family genealogy and DNA sample for the Trust to review; he has not accepted the offer.
James has three children—a daughter and a son with his first wife, Karla, and a daughter with his second wife, adult film star/producer Janine Lindemulder.
On July 16, 2005, James married actress Sandra Bullock, whom he met when she arranged for her 10-year-old godson, a fan, to tour the set of Monster Garage.
In October 2009, James' ex-wife Lindemulder, who had been in federal prison for six months for tax evasion, sought to regain custody of her then five-year-old daughter with James, Sunny, after James had been granted sole guardianship of her. James sought to retain full guardianship, citing fear of the environment in which his daughter would be placed if returned to Lindemulder. In December, James won custody, and Lindemulder was given weekly visitation rights during the daytime.
In March 2010, a media scandal arose when several women claimed to have had affairs with James during his marriage to Bullock. Bullock cancelled European promotional appearances for The Blind Side citing "unforeseen personal reasons". On March 18, 2010, James responded to the rumors of infidelity by issuing a public apology to Bullock. James declared that "There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me", and asked that his wife and children one day "find it in their hearts to forgive me" for their current "pain and embarrassment". James’ publicist subsequently announced on March 30, 2010 that James had checked into a rehab facility "to deal with personal issues" and "save his marriage" to Bullock. However, on April 28, 2010, it was reported that Bullock had filed for divorce on April 23 in Austin. Bullock also stated that she had proceeded with plans to adopt a baby boy born in New Orleans. Bullock and James had begun an initial adoption process four years earlier. The child began living with them in January 2010, but they chose to keep the news private until after the Oscars in March 2010. However, given the couple's separation and then divorce, Bullock continued the adoption of the baby as a single parent. The divorce was finalized on June 28, 2010, with "conflict of personalities" cited as the reason.
On August 19, 2010, tattoo artist Kat Von D confirmed media reports that she and James were dating, tweeting "I think it's pretty obvious that we're dating." On January 20, 2011 James announced his engagement to Von D, stating "You know sometimes the public and press gets it wrong. This is one of those times. 2010 was actually the best year of my life because I fell in love with my best friend. An amazing woman who stood behind me when the world turned their backs", and declared that "Growing old with her is going to be a fuckin' blast!". They split in July, 2011