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August 13, 2022

Bam Margera discusses 'Jackass Forever' dismissal and addiction struggles on Steve-O's podcast

The two remain friends even though the former pro skateboarder filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Paramount last year

Bam Margera appeared on his former "Jackass" co-star Steve-O's podcast this week. They revealed that they're on good terms and discussed the retired pro skateboarder's departure from the franchise due to his struggles with addiction.

The episode of "Steve-O's Wild Ride" was uploaded on Thursday, but filmed "a while back," the host noted in the intro.

Margera characterized his dismissal from "Jackass Forever," the franchise's most recent movie released last year, as an overreaction. But now, he said he's happy to not be involved.

"I'm much better off not being in it," Margera said. "I don't want to do that anymore. I don't want to be a part of it. I'm much happier without it."

His role in the film was contingent on him signing a sobriety agreement, which involved daily drug tests. Many at MTV viewed Margera's substance use as a liability. He was fired after he tested positive for Adderall in February 2021, even though he said the drug was prescribed to him by a doctor.
On the podcast, Margera said it was hypocritical for MTV to require a sobriety agreement because in the past the "Jackass" producers had encouraged his wild drug- and alcohol-fueled behavior.
In 2014, he was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport for unlawful possession of a weapon after he tried to go through a security checkpoint with brass knuckles while drunk.

"I got a high five for good press," Margera said. "Now I wind up sipping on a beer out in front of a hotel on TMZ, and I get kicked out for being a liability."

A public dispute between Margera and some of his former co-workers at MTV followed his dismissal.

He eventually sued MTV's parent company Paramount and some of his former co-workers for wrongful termination. That suit was dropped in April, but the terms of the settlement have not been made public.

Steve-O revealed that he almost managed to get Margera back into "Jackass Forever," but that the arrangement fell apart after Margera got intoxicated and missed an important Zoom call.

"I was oddly, surprisingly, like campaigning to get you back in the movie. We were so close," he said. "They had to see you all wasted on social media the night before, so they knew exactly why you missed the call."

Steve-O also defended the sobriety agreement. He saw it in the same light as the intervention "Jackass" co-star Johnny Knoxville organized for him. Steve-O said he's now been sober for 14 years.

"Back in the days of 'Jackass 2,' we were in our heyday, we were at our worst, drugs and alcohol were still working for us," he said. "No one was getting locked up in rehab or jail… or having public breakdowns…

"I hope you can understand, at a certain point, specifically over the last few years, it stopped being fun, it stopped being funny, it stopped being cool, it stopped being something we wanted to give you a high-five for," Steve-O said. "We've been watching you self-destruct."

Since his dismissal from "Jackass Forever," Margera has been in and out of rehab facilities across the country. In June, Margera made headlines when he left a court-mandated treatment program in Florida and was ultimately placed under a "temporary healthcare guardianship."

Since then, some of Margera's fans have come to see him in the same light as Brittany Spears, who was placed under a highly restrictive conservatorship overseen by her father for more than a decade due to her mental health struggles. It was finally dissolved last year in the wake of public outcry from her fanbase.

But Margera's family said these fans are misunderstanding the situation in a statement posted to his Instagram account last weekend.

"Despite rumors, Bam has never been in a conservatorship but rather a temporary healthcare guardianship for reasons not shared with the public," the statement says. "If Bam chooses to speak to this, he will when he is ready…

"Although we love sharing our lives with you, some things need to be handled privately, and treatment is one of them," they said. "Recovery is difficult and even more so under public scrutiny."

Margera grew up in West Chester, which is where he and some friends began filming a predecessor to "Jackass" called "CKY," which stands for "Camp Kill Yourself."

He was able to promote this series of stunt videos due to his status as a pro skateboarder and they eventually caught the attention of MTV in 2000.

"Jackass" came about when producers brought the "CKY" crew together with performers making similar content for "Big Brother," a skateboarding magazine, including Steve-O and Knoxville.

Later on, Margera and his family starred in other MTV reality shows filmed in Chester County including "Viva La Bam" and "Bam's Unholy Union."

Check out Steve-O's full interview here: