Jesse James now says he believes he wanted to get caught cheating on his wife of nearly five years, film star Sandra Bullock, telling an interviewer, "During the midst of all of it and when I was doing it, 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.
"I think it's - I don't think, I know for a fact now - what it was: It was me trying to self-sabotage my life," he added.
Conceding that "I took a pretty amazing life and marriage, and threw it away," the motorcycle customizer and reality-show star told Vicki Mabrey of ABC News that he knows much of the public considers him "the most hated man in the world now."
In a chastened tone, he said, "I've spent my whole life with the kids and with her trying to . . . protect her from everything. But the most hurt she's ever been caused is by the person [who] wanted to protect her."
James, 41, added, "It's hard for me to talk about, a little bit, because I still really love her and care about her."
His actions, he acknowledged, were "terrible, and she's going to be hurt for a long time."
The full interview will air Tuesday night on "Nightline" (WABC/7 at 11:35 p.m.)
In one of two video promos for the "Nightline" interview, Mabrey explains that James did the interview "to set the record straight" about accusations of his espousing Nazi iconography and white supremacy, and to detail why he went into rehab after the cheating allegations arose.