Jesse Gregory James is an American television personality and former CEO of Austin, Texas-based Austin Speed Shop. James was the host of the reality TV shows Jesse James Is a Dead Man on Spike TV and Monster Garage on the Discovery Channel, and the focus of the documentary Motorcycle Mania, also on Discover. Take a look below for 27 more fun and fascinating facts about Jesse James.
1. After working as a bodyguard for Danzig, Slayer, and occasionally for other bands such as Soundgarden, James opened West Coast Choppers in his mother’s garage in 1992.
2. James has also built and is racing an off-road Trophy Truck and a Figure-8 race car.
3. He was the owner of the Cisco Burger restaurant, which opened on April 28, 2006, across the street from West Coast Choppers.
4. James also had partial ownership in Austin Speed Shop in Austin, Texas which he left in 2013 to focus on the re-opening of West Coast Choppers in Austin.
5. Other business ventures include the Chopperdogs fan club and the Jesse’s Girl clothing line.
6. Since 2006, James has nationally published Garage magazine.
7. In November 2013 Jesse James Firearms Unlimited unveiled its first two firearms, a 1911 pistol and AR-15 rifle.
8. His first suppressor was a basic reworking of an original Maxim design that he claimed could bend the laws of physics by offering a 78 dB rating at the muzzle.
9. In 2000, the Discovery Channel made the documentary Motorcycle Mania, which chronicled James’s everyday life.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. Through James’s show “History Of The Chopper” there are also glimpses of his involvement with the Hells Angels.
13. He also had an appearance on Discovery Channel’s Sons of Guns.
14. James’s Discovery Channel website states that his great-great-grandfather was the notorious outlaw’s cousin.
15. 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 provided the requested information.
16. James has three children: a daughter and a son with his first wife, Karla James, to whom he was married from 1991 to 2002; and a daughter with his second wife, stripper/adult actress/producer Janine Lindemulder, to whom he was married from 2002 to 2004.
17. On July 16, 2005, James married his third wife, actress Sandra Bullock. They met when she arranged for her 10-year-old godson, a fan, to tour the set of Monster Garage.
18. In October 2009 James’s 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.”
21. 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.”
22. 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.
23. In August 2010, tattoo artist Kat Von D confirmed reports that she and James were dating.
24. James and Von D became engaged in January 2011.
25. Von D announced that they had split in July 2011.
26. In August 2011, James and Von D announced that their engagement was back on. In September 2011, Von D announced that she and James had broken up again.
27. In late 2012, James became engaged to professional drag racer Alexis DeJoria. They married on March 24, 2013, at the estate of the bride’s father, entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria.