Jesse James and Kat Von D: Anatomy of a Split

E! News takes a look back at the pair's relationship

By Josh Grossberg Jul 26, 2011 6:53 PMTags
Jesse James, Kat Von DJordan Strauss/WireImage

The romance is over, but they'll always have the tattoos.

Jesse Jamesand Kat Von D hooked up in the fiery aftermath of James' split from America's sweetheart Sandra Bullock, a breakup brought on by the Monster Garage dude's cheating.

And what a romance it was...

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So what brought it down?

Despite the fact that the twosome shared an outlaw mentality—he's a maker of custom-built motorcycles and she's a reality show star/tattoo artist who previously dated Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx—their romance was apparently done in by something prosaic: Distance. James lives with his three kids in Texas while Von D is based in Los Angeles.

Here's a timeline of their short-lived affair:

Mar. 2010: Days after Sandra Bullock wins an Oscar and seems on top of the world, scandal erupts when a tabloid report claims James has been carrying on an affair. Jesse later admits to pulling a Tiger Woods and having affairs with several women, including stripper Michelle "Bombshell" McGee. He publicly apologizes to Bullock who moves out the couple's home by the middle of the month.

April, 23 2010: The Blind Side actress files a petition to end her five-year union to the 42-year-old James and also reveals that she and her soon-to-be ex had adopted a baby boy, which she decides she will now raise as a single parent.

June 28, 2010: Sometime after James' divorce from Bullock is finalized; the Discovery Channel personality and 29-year-old LA Ink star Von D begin dating.

Aug. 19, 2010: Von D. confirms reports of the romance: "I think it's pretty obvious that we're dating," she tweets.

Sept. 2, 2010: The tattoo babe and her beau hit the red carpet for the opening of her new Wonderland Gallery looking all smiles, then share a couple of kisses inside the party where Von D introduces James to her dad for the first time.

January 2011: James announces he and Von D are engaged after seven months of dating, calling her his "other half." "You know, sometimes the public and press gets it wrong," he tells People. "This is one of those times. 2010 was actually the best year of my life because I fell in love with my best friend." She tweets back: "I guess the 'kat' is outta the bag, eh?"

May 2011: James helps promote his book American Outlaw by telling Howard Stern that sex with Von D is "100 percent" better than it was with Bullock. He also tells Nightline that he forgives himself for what went down with Bullock. That's big of him, right?

June 2011: Six months after he vows to marry, reports surface that the pair are on the outs. James denies it, tweeting, "I like that all the piece of S—t tabloids are now following me on Twitter. I'm pretty sure it's just so I can tell them to Lick My Balls." The duo later tell People they are "still going strong."

Mon. July 25, 2011: James and Von D both separately confirm the split. She tweets: "I am no longer w Jesse, and out of respect for him, his family and myself, that's all the info I'd like to share. Thanks for respecting that." He tells People: "I'm so sad because I really love her. The distance between us was just too much."

So much for going the distance.