The husband of actress Sandra Bullock apologised yesterday for causing her "pain and embarrassment beyond comprehension" after recent claims he cheated on her while she was filming her Oscar-winning role in "The Blind Side."
Jesse James, a custom motorcycle manufacturer and reality TV star who married Bullock five years ago, said he took full responsibility for his actions. But he stopped short of admitting to published allegations by a California tattoo model of a five-week affair.
Bullock, 45, who won her first Oscar last week, on Wednesday pulled out of the London premiere of "The Blind Side" citing "unforeseen personal reasons" after US celebrity magazine In Touch Weekly published the model's story.
She joins a long line of actresses to have suffered the so-called "Oscar curse" of seeing their personal relationships unravel shortly after winning the movie industry's top honour.
British actress Kate Winslet, who won the Oscar last year for "The Reader", announced on Monday that she had separated from her film director husband Sam Mendes.
"It's because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way," James, 40, said in a statement first obtained by People magazine.
"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," he added.
James and Bullock were married in 2005, and he has three children from previous relationships.
Bullock, who has reportedly moved out of their southern California home, paid emotional tributes to James while accepting a slew of awards for her role in "The Blind Side".
The drama about a wealthy mother who befriends a homeless black teen marked a change of style for Bullock, who was previously best-known for romantic comedies like "Miss Congeniality" and "The Proposal."
"It is no surprise that my work got better when I met you, because I never knew before what it felt like for someone to have my back," she told James from the Golden Globe winner's podium in January.
Accepting the Screen Actor's Guild trophy a month later, she said: "You get dressed up in monkey suits, and you sit at a table with people you don't know. I love you so much, and you're really hot!."
Oscar winners Hilary Swank, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon and Julia Roberts also split with their husbands or partners soon after being awarded the coveted gold statuette.
Bonnie Fuller, editor-in-chief of celebrity news website HollywoodLife.com, said it was not so much an Oscar curse as a strong woman curse.
"When women are strong and successful and married or involved with men who maybe feel threatened or insecure, having such public recognition can really destabilize the relationship," Fuller told Reuters.
"A lot of guys cannot handle a strong, successful woman, and the Oscar has to be one of the ultimate accolades one can receive."
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