It’s quite the headline-grabbing custody dispute: America’s Sweetheart takes on the porn star. The child in question is Sandra Bullock‘s stepdaughter: 5 1/2-year-old Sunny James, the daughter of Jesse James and his adult-film-star ex, Janine Lindemulder.
For most of last year, James and Bullock have had sole custody of Sunny, due primarily to the fact that Lindemulder has spent the past six months in prison for tax evasion. During an appearance on Good Morning America, the 40-year-old porn star said she has no plans of giving up parental rights: “What would give her the right to take away my daughter?” Lindemulder said of Bullock. “This is my daughter. I’m the best mother I can be.” While admitting that she’s “absolutely made horrific choices in the past,” Lindemulder stresses that her life is currently back on track.
Bullock and James beg to differ. In a letter to the judge at Lindemulder’s sentencing, the 45-year-old Miss Congeniality star raised concerns about Sunny’s safety and well being.
I am aware that Janine has claimed many times that my desire to have Sunny was because I could not have children of my own,” Bullock writes in the letter obtained by ABC News. “As difficult as that is for me to hear, and write, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.” Instead, Bullock claims that they “realized that due to the instability in Sunny’s life, bringing another child into the world at this time would not be in Sunny’s best interest.” Bullock continues, “I myself have stopped working like I used to in order to be here with Jesse and the kids because we are on constant ‘high alert.’ Never knowing what condition Janine will be in, and even more concerning, the condition Sunny will be in. While in Janine’s care, sometimes Sunny is left alone during the day, while her mother is asleep from drug use.”
Lindemulder addressed Sandra’s letter: “Sandy doesn’t know what goes on in my house. She doesn’t know how…I’d love for her to,” she said on GMA. “Please, come over! I’ll make dinner, let’s sit down, two women.” She went on to say, “It hurts tremendously. The accusations, especially from Sandra…her even more so, because we’ve never sat down and talked. That’s the one thing that I wish more than anything for a remedy for what’s happening here, is just communication.”
Still, Lindemulder acknowledged that Bullock is an “excellent mother” and genuinely cares for her daughter.
Bullock’s letter went on to outline her deep care and commitment to Sunny.
I know the term ‘stepmother’ carries many connotations, one of them being a ‘glorified babysitter.’ My commitment and responsibility to Sunny, and Chandler and Jesse Jr., goes beyond that. We are FULLY prepared to accept the responsibility and make Sunny’s transition as healthy as possible if full custody should be awarded to Jesse…We are here, and know we may have a tough road ahead of us but we have built a strong and stable foundation, which makes us ready for anything.”