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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Who is Jesse Gregory James?

Who is Jesse Gregory James?  The entertainment and acting world knows him as Jesse James. He is an American television personality and CEO of West Coast Choppers, a manufacturer of custom-made motorcycles. James is the current host of Jesse James is a Dead Man on Spike TV, focus of documentary Motorcycle Mania and former host of series Monster Garage, both on the Discovery Channel.

Career

Custom motorcycles and cars

James was born April 19, 1969. James started his career after several years as the bodyguard with Danzig and occasionally for other heavy metal bands such as Slayer and Soundgarden,[2] James opened West Coast Choppers in his mother's garage in 1992. The company grew quickly and soon moved to a larger facility for select customers and companies. About 200 bikes have been built at West Coast Choppers. West Coast Choppers is also sponsoring race teams in Top Fuel Drags and Super Late Model NASCAR. James recently bought custom car business Austin Speed Shop and has expanded into the custom car business. James has also built and is racing an off-road Trophy Truck and a Figure-8 race car.

Other business ventures

He is the owner of the Cisco Burger restaurant, which opened on April 28, 2006, just down the street from West Coast Choppers. The 1950s style hamburger stand — named after his beloved pit bull who is now deceased — features Angus beef burgers, low-fat burritos, organic vegetables, and biodegradable wrappings. James also has partial ownership in the South Austin Speed Shop in Austin, Texas.
Other business ventures include the Chopperdogs fan club and the Jesse's Girl clothing line. Since 2006, James has nationally published Garage magazine.[3]

Television

In 2000, the Discovery Channel made the documentary Motorcycle Mania, which chronicled James' everyday life. Following the success of the documentary, the Discovery Channel approached James with an offer to host a new show called Monster Garage where James and a crew of mechanics modified vehicles under a short deadline.
James later established Payupsucker Productions, under which he produced shows like History of the Chopper, Iraq Confidential with Jesse James and Green Scream, in which James plans to break the land speed record with an eco-friendly hydrogen car.
Through James' show "History Of The Chopper" there are also glimpses of his involvement with the Hells Angels and other 1% outlaw motorcycle clubs.
He appeared on the second season of Celebrity Apprentice. Each celebrity played to raise money for a favorite charity; James selected to play for the Long Beach Education Foundation.[4] Due to his poor performance in raising funds, James was fired by Donald Trump on the second-to-last show which aired May 3, 2009.
His show Jesse James is a Dead Man premiered on Spike TV on May 31, 2009. The show features James doing death defying stunts. The first episode set a ratings record for Spike, drawing the largest audience ever for an unscripted series on the network, with 2 million viewers.[5] The show is produced by Spike TV, BASE Productions and James' company, PayupSucker Productions.[6]
In conjunction with that appearance Marvel Comics created a special one-shot comic book where he evades death once again after considering retirement, and made it available in comic book stores for free distribution.[7]
James has appeared on an episode of Street Customs where he had his pickup truck customized by West Coast Customs.[citation needed]
He appeared in an ad for T-Mobile's Google cell phone with Whoopi Goldberg and Phil Jackson.[8]

Legal troubles

In 2007, James was fined $271,250 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) after state officials determined that he had sold motorcycles in violation of the California's clean-air laws. According to police, James' customized bikes were emitting 10 times the legal limits of hydrocarbons. Investigators also found that the motorcycles did not have state-certified emissions equipment on their exhaust and fuel systems. The bikes were sold between 1998 and 2005.[9]
In July 2008, James faced a $422,680 breach of contract lawsuit from Michael Jones, a customer who hired James to build him a custom car, who contended that after paying $270,000 over two years, the car was not completed, and that James informed him that it would cost between $600,000 and $700,000.[10] That September, James faced another lawsuit from his former lawyer for $327,533 in unpaid fees.[11]

Personal life

James' Discovery Channel website states that his great-great-grandfather was the famous outlaw's cousin.[12] However, Eric James, president of the James Preservation Trust, which tracks claims of being a relative of the outlaw, says it can not find a record of him in the family tree, and has asked him to provide a family genealogy and DNA sampling for the Trust to review; he has not accepted the offer.[13][14][15]
Karla James
Janine Lindemulder
James has three children—a daughter and a son with his first wife, Karla, and a daughter with his second wife, adult film star/producer Janine Lindemulder.[16]
On July 16, 2005, James married actress Sandra Bullock, whom he met when she arranged for her 10-year-old godson, a fan, to tour the set of Monster Garage.[17]
In October 2009, James' ex-wife Lindemulder, who had been jailed for six months for tax evasion, sought to regain custody of her then five-year-old daughter with James, Sunny, after James had been granted sole guardianship of her. James sought to retain full guardianship, citing fear of the environment in which his daughter would be placed if returned to Lindemulder.[18][19] In December, James won custody, and Lindemulder was given weekly visitation rights during the daytime.[20]
Kat Von D Alias (Michelle "Bombshell" McGee)
In March 2010, tattoo model and stripper Michelle "Bombshell" McGee claimed she had an 11-month affair with James while Bullock was on location filming The Blind Side.[21] Shortly thereafter, James acknowledged that he had shown "poor judgment" with regard to the reports he had been unfaithful to his wife.[22] Bullock is caring for James' daughter Sunny in Los Angeles while he attends rehab at a facility in Arizona that specializes in drug, alcohol and sex addiction.[23][24]
On April 28, 2010, Bullock told People magazine that she was filing for divorce.[25]
On June 28, James' divorce from Bullock was finalized[26] with the grounds cited as "conflict of personalities." [27]

Jesse James and tattoo artist Kat Von D announced their engagement in January 2011.
 

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