James said on an interview on ABC's "Nightline" that aired Tuesday evening that his father was emotionally and physically abusive. He said that the successes in his life, such as his television show "Monster Garage," was "a huge smoke screen so people won't see I'm a scared abused kid, a 7 year old."
During the interview, James became emotional, choking up recalling an incident when his father chased him around the house in the dark and James broke his arm. In an e-mail, James' father denied the allegations to ABC.
"I cried more in rehab in last 30 days than I have in my whole life," James said. "I don't think I have a sex addiction where I'm running around trying to have sex with everyone and can't stop. I think I do things to sabotage my life including extramarital affairs, texting … I do a lot of things in my life I shouldn't be doing that aren't conducive to being a perfect husband."
James said he lied about cheating during his marriage Bullock and knew he would eventually 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.
The 41-year-old tattooed biker said Bullock "had her suspicions in the past, but, you know, I lied, and lied my way out of it. I lied to everyone about everything, even to myself."
James also said 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.
"She's like a fish to water. As soon as she put that baby in her hands, it was automatic and amazing," he said.
The child was born in New Orleans, where the couple had spent time after Hurricane Katrina. He said they welcomed the baby into their family on New Year's Day.
Bullock has said she'll adopt as a single parent.
Allegations that James had been cheating on Bullock became public within days after the 45-year-old actress won the best-actress Oscar on March 7 for her role in "The Blind Side."
The couple separated in March after five years of marriage. Divorce papers were filed in April in Austin, Texas, where Bullock has a home. James said he was "100 percent sure" the couple would divorce, but that it was not what he wanted.