Jesse James 'Nazi Salute' Photo Hits the Web

03/31/2010 at 01:15 PM EDT

Jesse James 'Nazi Salute' Photo Hits the Web
Jesse James
GSI Media
Just what Jesse James needs: More controversy.

He's already facing allegations of infidelity and has entered treatment to save his marriage to Sandra Bullock, and now there's a 5-year-old photo on the Internet of James in a Nazi hat, giving a salute and holding two fingers under his nose a la Adolf Hitler.

The picture had been quietly shopped around to media outlets over the last week. One source says he struck the pose during a party at his home for West Coast Choppers workers and others in 2005, before his marriage.

While acknowledging the picture is "in poor taste," another source – a friend – says, "The last thing Jesse is racist or anti-Semitic." The hat came from a dear lifelong friend who's Jewish, and James had even spent time on a kibbutz in Israel last fall learning metalworking techniques.

Even James's detractors say he's no bigot. "Everything he does is for shock value," says Ron Simms, a veteran bike designer who was a former mentor to James and had a falling out with him in 2005. Simms remembers James "sticking to his guns" after photos of African-American bikers in his magazine prompted hate mail.


Get a sneak peek of this week's issue – Sandra Bullock's divorce dilemma, Jolie-Pitt twin photos and more – which is on newsstands Friday

See what other readers have to say about this story – or leave a comment of your own

PeopleTV Archive: Jesse James Talks Chivalry

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters