Sandra Bullock Blindsided By Jesse James

by Joan Oshatz on March 22, 2010 in Betrayal

sandra bullock jesse james

Less than two weeks after Sandra Bullock won her first Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of a fiery adoptive mother in the movie, ironically titled, “The Blind Side,” Bullock was blindsided by her husband, Jesse James, who the world has now learned had an alleged 11 month relationship with a tattoo model named Michelle “Bombshell” McGee. The tattoo model claimed in a cover story that appeared on the newsstands last Friday in “In Touch” magazine that she had an affair with James while Bullock was on location filming “The Blind Side.” The story was entitled “The Ultimate Betrayal” and McGee was reportedly paid close to $30,000 for the story.

When the story first broke, Bullock’s fans, which seem to be the whole world, were hoping it wasn’t true. But apparently some parts of the story were true, because James issued a statement not specifically admitting or denying anything but saying, “the vast majority of the allegations reported are untrue and unfounded. Beyond that, I will not dignify these private matters with any further public comment.” He then went on to apologize to Bullock and his three children, “There is only one person to blame for this whole situation and that is me. It’s because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way. This has caused my wife and kids pain and embarrassment beyond comprehension and I am extremely saddened to have brought this on them. I am truly very sorry for the grief I have caused them. I hope one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

The romance between Bullock and James started out like a fairytale. America’s Sweetheart meets a Tattooed Bad Boy. America’s Sweetheart kisses the Tattooed Bad Boy and VOILA! Tattooed Bad Boy turns into a prince. Okay, so he was a prince who was covered in tattoos. We accepted him and took him into our hearts, because this is who our American Sweetheart chose as the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Her love gave James authenticity. He was no longer a bad boy; he was our American Sweetheart’s soul mate. Our American Sweetheart married her prince when she was forty. It was a first marriage for her. Her prince was six years younger. Bullock would become James’ third wife. They say the third time is the charm. James’ last wife was Janine Marie Lindemulder, also known as Janine Marie James, an American exotic dancer and adult film actress, best known for her work in American pornographic films. James had a daughter and son by his first wife, and a daughter by his second wife. Obviously those marriages did not work out – but this time James had gotten it right. He hit the jackpot when he tied the knot for the third time and married America’s Sweetheart Sandra Bullock.

But to hear Bullock so lovingly giving her husband accolades at all the award shows this past season and in interviews, you would have thought that she was the one who had hit the jackpot when she married James. Her sincerity and love shined through in every word she spoke about him. She even had me thinking, a woman who has sworn off ever marrying again, “Ummm, maybe I should find myself a Tattooed Bad Boy.”

Looking every bit like a beautiful princess, in her pretty in purple evening gown at the 67th Golden Globe Awards, Bullock graciously thanked James when she won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her role in “The Blind Side.” In her acceptance speech she said, “To my husband, there’s no surprise that my work got better when I met you, because I never knew what it felt like for someone to have my back, so thank you.”

Now I was definitely convinced. I needed a Tattooed Bad Boy to cover my back! Preferably one that weighed three hundred pounds. Being fat I have a pretty wide backside to cover. And as a writer who doesn’t want their work to get better? When I’m finished writing my memoir, “A Bad Marriage Is Fattening,” I want it to be a bestseller. So bring on the Tattooed Bad Boys if that’s what it’s going to take for me have a bestseller.

But this is my problem, when I was young my mother gave me the wrong advice. She said, “Joanie, it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man. Marry well. Marry a doctor and you’ll live the good life.”

I think I may have taken my mother’s advice a little too literally, because I ended up marrying not one but two doctors.

I think Sandra Bullock’s mother may have given her better advice when it came to marrying men. But in my mother’s defense I will say that she did have a drinking problem, and she was drunk when she gave me that advice and she was mad at my father. However, in the end I don’t think it really mattered that Sandra married a man who was covered in tattoos or that I married two doctors. We were both blindsided.

Because I have been blindsided not once but twice, I am now the President of The Blindsided Wives of America Club. It is not a club that anyone wants to become a member of, but unfortunately you automatically become a member when you have been blindsided by your husband, or in my case husbands.

Normally I would have sent a letter to Sandra privately welcoming her into our club, but since her case is so high profile I feared it would be impossible to get the letter to her in a timely fashion. I think millions of women are writing to her offering her their condolences. So I have no choice but to put this letter on the Internet and hope that she sees it.

Dear Sandra Bullock:

I would like to welcome you into the Blindsided Wives of America Club. I know this is the last club that you ever wanted to be a member of, but I can assure you that it is full of recognizable women’s names whose husbands have also blindsided and humiliated them publically by being unfaithful. Among the notables in our club are Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Edwards, Halle Berry, Elin Woods, Christie Brinkley, Jenny Sanford and Silda Spitzer – to name just a few of the recognizable names, but the list goes on and on into infinity.

And here’s the thing, you don’t have to be famous to become a member of this club. You can be a complete unknown like I am.

A little about myself: I was a middle-aged housewife sandwiched between taking care of my teenage son and also being caretaker to my elderly parents, a father with dementia and a mother who was very ill – that in a nutshell was basically my story when I was blindsided by my physician husband who I learned had a secret life that I knew nothing about, and was checking out of our family unit to start an entire new life with his nurse.

I’ll be the first to admit my marriage wasn’t a bed of roses, but in my defense, I was doing everything possible to hold my unhappy marriage together with my midnight raids of the refrigerator. I put on one hundred and fifty pounds in a futile attempt to numb my pain and not face the truth of how truly miserable I really was in my marriage. If that’s not a commitment for trying to stay married – even in a bad marriage I don’t know what is!

I was blindsided when I learned, while I was binging my brains out in an effort to numb my pain, my husband was out having an affair with another woman.

The very least my husband could have done was come to me two years before I learned about his secret life and said to me during one of my midnight binges:

“Joanie. . .”

“Yes, Paul.”

“There’s something I want to talk to you about.”

“Would you like me to make you an egg salad sandwich while we talk?” I would be binging on an egg salad sandwich piled high with mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is my favorite food. At 100 calories a tablespoon and 11 grams of fat, you figure it out.

“No, I’m not really hungry.”

Paul was one of these people whose weight never varied. For the thirty years that we were together, ten years before we married and twenty years married, his weight always remained the same. He was what is called a normal eater. He would eat until he was full and then he would push his plate away and announce, “I’m full.”

I could not understand the concept of the word full. What does full mean when you’re enjoying what you’re eating? I mean, I would be full, but if I liked what I was eating I would continue on. Let’s face it, food is pleasure and when you’re not getting any other pleasures in your marriage, food becomes a good substitute for sex and intimacy.

“So what is it you want to talk about, Paul?” I would have said to Paul, if we had ever had this conversation, which we did not.

“I want to talk about our marriage.”

“Yeah, we haven’t had sex in a long time. We seem to be drifting apart.”

“It’s not sex that I want to talk about,” Paul would say.

I already kind of figured it wasn’t sex that Paul wanted to talk about. He was always feigning to be too tired when I suggested sex.

“So what is it?” I would ask taking another bite out of my egg salad sandwich as a gob of mayonnaise dripped down my chin.

“What is it exactly about mayonnaise that you love so much?” Paul would ask me.

“You want to talk about my love for mayonnaise?”

“I think you should give it up,” Paul would say.

“Listen, buster,” I said to myself, “I’ll give it up when you decide to have sex with me. A girl has to get her pleasure where she can.”

“Why do you think I should give up mayonnaise,” I would answer Paul back calmly.

“Because you’re fat and you need to lose weight.”

“So I’ll look pretty and turn you on again.”

“No, so that you can turn another man on.”

Well, now this imaginary conversation with my husband was getting interesting!

“Why would I want to turn another man on? I’m married to you.”

“Because in about two years I’m going to divorce you.”

Now I stopped eating my egg salad sandwich, because my husband had my full attention.

“You’re going to divorce me?” I would ask Paul surprised.

“Did you expect me to go on being miserable for the rest of my life being married to you?”

“Well, I never thought about it like that,” I would answer stunned.

Of course, I knew why I was staying in the marriage. I was staying out of fear that I would not be able to make it in the world on my own. I didn’t work outside the marriage and had no prospects of earning money except for minimum wage jobs. True I had a Master’s degree in Screenwriting from UCLA, but Hollywood is full of writers who have spec screenplays floating around and were trying desperately to get them off the ground. And then again there was my son to think about. Did I want to uproot his life and tear the family apart? I had a lot to binge over before I really seriously thought about getting out of my marriage and making it on my own in the world.

But on the other hand, Paul could leave anytime he pleased. He was the one who was earning all of the money. He had all the power.

“Well, think about,” Paul would say, “why should I be married to you when I could be married to someone that I really love?”

Had my husband met someone that he really loved?

“Joanie, I don’t want to blindside you two years from now, that’s why I wanted to have this talk with you, so that you can have time to get yourself back into shape.”

I’m too stunned to speak, even if this is an imaginary conversation.

“Let’s be honest with each other. I’m miserable in this marriage and you’re miserable too,” Paul would say.

Okay, that’s true, but I still can’t speak. And I’ve lost my appetite to boot.

“I’ve met someone. She loves me and I love her.”

Who is this idiot who loves my husband? Paul doesn’t bathe except once a week on Sunday evening. He doesn’t use deodorant or toothpaste when he brushes his teeth or mouthwash. How does she get past the smell? I, on the other hand, might be fat, but I follow the rules for proper hygiene.

“But I want to make sure that this isn’t just infatuation, but the real thing. So I figured I’d give the relationship two years to find out, and in the meantime I’d stayed married to you,” Paul would say.

“Let me understand. You want to stay married to me, while you’re having your affair with this woman to find out if this is the real thing? And if it is then you are going to divorce me and marry her?” I would answer back in shock.

“Well, yes, there’s no use rushing into things. . .” Paul would say.

“No, Paul, why rush into things? It took me ten years to get you to marry me. Two years for you to decide if you want to marry her is a short time for you.”

“My thinking is, why leave one bad marriage for another bad marriage? I want to make sure that this is going to be the right marriage for me.”

“You’re absolutely right, Paul. Why leave one bad marriage for another bad marriage?”

“And in the meantime. . .” Paul would say.

“Yes, tell me what I’m supposed to do in the meantime while you’re deciding if this woman is the love of your life?”

“You can lose all your weight.”

“Good idea, Paul! This is really just the incentive I needed to start losing weight.”

“Joanie, you used to be such a beautiful woman. Remember when you use to wear those knee-high boots and those miniskirts? I used to call you my cowgirl!”

“Paul, that was twenty-eight years ago! I was twenty-six. I no longer weigh one hundred and twenty-five pounds.”

“No,” Paul would agree, “the cowgirl has now turned into the cow. But I’m giving you two years notice that I’m going to divorce you so that you can lose your weight. You might not be young anymore, but if you lost the weight you’d still be attractive enough to get another man,” Paul would reason.

As it turned out Paul didn’t give me two years notice that he was going to divorce me. I was completely blindsided. By the time I found out that my husband was divorcing me, I was fifty-six years old and weighed 275 pounds.

But that’s the thing about being blindsided. It comes unexpectedly. It comes swiftly. And it comes with no time to prepare, but just to react in an utter state of shock.

Blindsided? Yes, I know a thing or two about being blindsided. And I will tell you this that even in the unhappiest of marriages, such as mine was, being blindsided by your spouse is a terribly painful, sad and humiliating experience.

So my heart goes out to you, Sandra, for the pain you are going through now.

I think that Barbara Walters summed it up for all of us how we felt when we heard the devastating news that Jesse had been unfaithful to you. On “The View,” Thursday, March 18th, Barbara Walters said, “I just feel so bad for her, she finally trusted a relationship and a man and felt protected and then this happened.” Barbara went on to say, “I really think in this she was blindsided and I feel so bad for her, because she is a terrific woman.”

Sandra, please know it is with the greatest of sadness that I welcome you into the Blindsided Wives of America Club.

Joan Oshatz

P.S. Sandra here is a poem that I hope will offer you some comfort.

After A While
Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne Sieben March 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm



kathleen March 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

what an excellent read. thank you for sharing. great job!


susan silver March 23, 2010 at 5:35 am

i feel for you needing to lose weight (me too — and we are the same age). taking care of elderly parents — so tough. i am married to a man that is devoted to me and thinks that i’m the only woman for him. we’ve been married for 30 years and he is crazy about me.
i still wear my jean skirt and cowboy boots . . .


Mean_Kathleen March 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm

They say you don’t know what you had until it’s gone. That can be viewed in a variety of lights. I believe as perhaps we all do that some things in our life are toxic, and it takes removing that some thing to make that realization. My picker was broken too, and I discovered my former husband was keeping a list of women he was sleeping with (I was not on the list) and it was numbered to 100; he was on number 63. Yep, just a plain old legal size piece of yellow paper determined my future. We were only together for 4 years. Talk about an STD scare. We get up and move on with grace. We all have a story ~ some better than others.


monica March 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

I loved your article! As for me, I thought I would be one of those women that laughed, pointed fingers at, and mocked the divorced…instead, I became a member of the club after being blindsided. I won’t bore you with the tragic details of my story (husband does drugs, cheats with prostitutes and uglier women while I’m taking care of Mom sick with cancer in hospital..yada..yada..yada). But, I have found strength of character and wisdom on the other side. I’m still optimistic, although a slightly more tattered and worn version of my former self.


Bottled Water December 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm

i had a huge crush on Sandar Bullock when i was still in college, for me, she is the prettiest actress ,~~


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