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    Jesse James: Fame and Fortune Were Hiding a "Scared, Abused Kid"

    Jesse James, Nightline ABC/Patrick Wymore

    Not that Jesse James is making excuses at this point, but he has finally offered up a bit of the psychology that may have contributed to the relentlessly thoughtless chain of behavior that resulted in his current celebrity-pariah status.

    Discussing the reasons why he checked into a treatment facility in the wake of his cheating scandal, James admitted that anger management and so-called sex addiction were two of them.

    Another, he says, is that he's a victim of childhood abuse and needs to stop letting it dictate the course of his personal life.

    "My whole childhood I never had a chance to be a kid," James, who lived with his dad after his parents divorced, said during his tell-all interview that aired on Nightline Tuesday.

    "I remember the clenched-teeth, strained-neck look on his face. He beat my ass 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 7-year-old."

    His father denied the abuse allegations in an email to ABC.

    But James bluntly and, at times, quite emotionally related his memories of growing up, including breaking his arm at the age of 7 when his father was chasing him through their house.

    "I remember my dad laughed when I hit the ground and called me a dummy," said the burly entrepreneur. "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..." James trailed off, tears welling in his eyes.

    "Sunny's the age that I was…when my dad broke my arm," he said before interrupting the interview to take a break.

    As for the antics that made him more notorious than merely famous in recent months, at least James isn't blaming sex addiction, saying he knows he doesn't have a clinical condition.

    "I don't think I have a sex addiction where I'm running around trying to have sex with everyone and I can't stop," he explained.

    "I think I do things to sabotage myself, including having extramarital affairs, texting, overworking myself, injuring myself, doing stunts and stupid things. I do a lot of things in my life that I shouldn't be doing that aren't conducive to being a good husband. The affair is just one of them."

    He said that he still has hopes of "saving some kind of relationship with Sandy," but also said that there's no way of salvaging their marriage.

    "Absolutely not, we're getting divorced," James said, his signature bluntness at the surface once again.

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