Photo Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage
For a tough motorcycle guy, Jesse James seems unusually prone to crying in public -- but then, he's got a lot to cry about. On Wednesday, James got choked up while testifying about his childhood abuse and alcohol problems during his ongoing custody trial with ex-wife Janine Lindemulder.
The battle over daughter Sunny, 6, has heated up since James' announcement that he would be moving to Austin, Texas (and away from Lindemulder in California) to be closer to Sandra Bullock. On Wednesday, Lindemulder's lawyer, no doubt trying to establish James as an unstable parent, asked him if he'd hit rock bottom after the events of this year. "Yes, to some degree," he answered. (Is there such a thing as hitting rock bottom to 'some degree'? You're either there, or you're not, right?) James became emotional as he testified that his problems stemmed from being "a victim of childhood abuse and trauma" who "pretty much raised myself." The former Monster Garage star added that he's "been living in the shadow" of his father's physical abuse "my whole life." (The subject is clearly a difficult one for James; he also started crying when discussing the abuse on Nightline back in May.)
James also told the court how he turned to drinking as "a big Band-Aid for the pain I was in." Although he says he hasn't been a problem drinker since he was 30 (James is 41), he admitted that the problem started very early; by the age of 14 or 15, he considered himself an alcoholic.
In his defense, James made the case that his worst days are behind him -- and said that Lindemulder, a former porn star and drug addict, is still struggling with her own addictions. "I think she has yet to hit rock bottom and I fear (when she does) it will involve Sunny," he told the judge, adding that Sunny acts out whenever she returns from visiting her mother: "She's more agitated, she has sleeping problems... The more contact she has with her mom, the more fear she has to sleep in her own room."
We don't envy the judge who has to listen to James and his ex-wife play the "Who's the Worse Parent?" game -- but we hope it ends well for Sunny. Actually, we kind of wish they'd leave the decision up to her.
Do you think Jesse James should be allowed to take his daughter across the country? Chime in below!