NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Jesse James says he lied about cheating during his marriage to Oscar winner Sandra Bullock.
In an interview set to air Tuesday on ABC's "Nightline," the tattooed biker and host of "Monster Garage" says Bullock was suspicious but he "lied and lied" his way out of it. He says he "lied to everyone about everything," even to himself.
He also says seeing Bullock in the role of mother to 4 1/2-month-old son Louis is one of the "most amazing things" he's ever seen.
Says James: "She's like a fish to water. As soon as she put that baby in her hands, it was automatic and amazing."
The child was born in New Orleans, where the couple had spent time after Hurricane Katrina. Bullock has said she'll adopt as a single parent.
For James, seeing the recent People magazine cover of his estranged wife smiling up at their son was a difficult reminder that he was absent, according to ABC News.
"It made me sad, but I realize why things have to be done in a certain way," he said during the "Nightline" interview, pointing out that adoption agencies could be critical given his villainous image in the tabloids.
James admitted he "took a pretty amazing life and amazing success and marriage ... and threw it away by my own hands" by having extramarital affairs, but that in the end he wanted to get caught.
"When I was doing it, you know, one, I knew it was horrible, it made me feel horrible. And two, I knew I would get caught eventually, and I think I wanted to get caught," he said. "I know for a fact now what it was, you know. I mean, it was me trying to self-sabotage my life."
James also addressed the image that ran in Us Weekly that shows him wearing a German S.S. officer's hat, posing in a Nazi salute. He said the photo was taken before his marriage to Bullock, and that while it was meant as a joke, he understands why it stirred up controversy.
"I could tell by the look on my face it was a joke that was funny then, probably for a minute, but then looking at it in the context of now and in my life, it's not funny," he said. "There's not a racist bone in my body."
He added that dispelling the Nazi rumors was one of the main reasons he sat down for the interview.
"I think out of everything, this is why I'm doing this interview the most, because you know, dealing with losing my marriage and my son and embarrassing everyone and decimating my life, but to be called a racist on top of that is, it makes me really sad."