Sandra & Jesse: What Went Wrong

Celebrity News Mar. 18, 2010 AT 2:51PM
Sandra & Jesse: What Went Wrong Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

Sandra Bullock fans were shocked when tattoo model Michelle McGee claimed she had an 11-month fling with the Oscar winner's husband Jesse James. (Bullock, 45 has not commented on McGee's allegations, but on Thursday, reports surfaced that she has moved out of the family's Southern California home. James, 40, has not responded to specific claims against him, but he has apologized.)

So what went wrong?

In 2004, when Bullock was first linked to James, fans couldn't get over what an odd couple the two made: She, the girl-next-door star of such classic comedies as Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice; he, the tattooed bad boy star of Discovery Channel's Monster Garage.

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If James strayed, it could have been because "he always felt like a second-class citizen," Beverly Hills-based Dr. Carole Lieberman tells UsMagazine.com. "Maybe he felt like he never was able to live up to her level."

Given the recent critical accolades Bullock garnered for The Blind Side -- including an Oscar -- "he might really think she is too good for him," she says.

Interestingly, the day after the Oscars, Bullock joked to Oprah Winfrey that she had to coax James to attend awards shows with her. "This is a man who works 12 hours a day, manual labor," she told Winfrey. "I have to pull him out of bed ... and say, 'Can you try on the Dolce suit?' He's like, 'Do I have to?' I'm like: 'Yes. I don't want you to look like a bad waiter.'"

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He could have had the fling "for sex and to feel like the big man because Sandra didn't make him feel big enough," Lieberman goes on.

Reportedly, James' affair began when Bullock was away shooting The Blind Side. "I think he felt abandoned when she went to go on location to shoot," Lieberman says. "He wanted someone to make him feel wanted."

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But Cooper Lawrence, a relationship and psychology expert and author of The Cult of Celebrity, says James' alleged infidelity could be explained by his wild past: He was once wed to porn star Janine Lindemulder (with whom he and Bullock recently engaged in a nasty custody battle over 5-year-old daughter Sunny).

James is "a guy who likes sports cars and strippers and tattoo models," Lawrence tells Us. "He's just going back to who he really is. I don't think he was trying to hurt Sandra intentionally. He is just somebody who acts on impulse and does what he wants in the moment. He is not like Tiger Woods who let fame get to him."

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Could Bullock and James ever get past their marital woes?

No, says Lawrence, who tells Us that Bullock made "a terrible mistake" wedding James.

Psychotherapist Rhonda Findling, author of Don’t Call that Man!: A Survival Guide to Letting Go, says James clearly "has problems and needs to get over his own issues of envy toward her. This guy needs treatment. He needs to be in therapy."

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