Bam Margera has made a career out of doing dumb things, but going after the people who helped make him a household name might be the riskiest thing he has ever done. Ever since being fired from Jackass Forever, Margera has turned what could have been a private affair into a very public battle. In August, the 42-year-old filed a lawsuit against Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, and Paramount, claiming that he had been subjected to “inhumane treatment” due to his substance abuse issues. As part of the suit, Margera is attempting to stop the release of Jackass Forever.
Now, as The Wrap reports, Paramount has filed a response to Margera’s “baseless” (their words) lawsuit, which it claims is “riddled with outright lies.”
The official reason for Margera’s sacking is that he couldn’t stick to the agreed-upon “wellness and sobriety program” that had been laid out for him as a condition of his employment. Margera was officially fired from the upcoming film on August 20, 2020, and the situation between Bam and his longtime friends and co-Jackasses has only become more contentious. As The Wrap writes:
“The studio pushed back and denied many of Margera’s claims, including accusations that Spike Jonze, Johnny Knoxville and director Jeff Tremaine ‘accosted him’ in a rehab facility and forced him to sign a ‘draconian sobriety contract,’ that he was forced to sign a talent contract with Paramount and, among the most explosive of Margera’s claims, that the studio hired a doctor who forced him to take a ‘cocktail of pills.’ Margera also said that he was fired after testing positive for Adderall, which he claimed in the suit was prescribed for him, but the studio’s response says Margera ‘admitted’ that ‘he bought it off the street.’”
In June 2021, after Margera began issuing threats against Tremaine—plus Tremaine’s wife and children—the Jackass co-creator was granted a three-year restraining order against Margera.
Following that episode, Paramount’s filing states that:
“Then, with no remorse or acceptance of responsibility for the damage he was causing his former partners, friends, and himself, Margera filed this baseless, manifestly dishonest lawsuit, which threatens to enjoin the upcoming release of Jackass Forever. Apparently, Margera has decided that because he blew his opportunity to be in the film, the Defendants should not be allowed to release it, and the public should not be allowed to see it. Enough is enough.”
In August, Margera issued his own statement about his reasons behind the suit, saying:
“I am pissed-off, angry, hurt, and shattered that Johnny [Knoxville], Jeff [Tremaine], Spike [Jonze] and the studios and producers ripped off my creativity, content, and stunts to make this movie, fired me without justification, and refuse to pay for my work; I created this franchise before any of these guys ever got involved. My lawsuit isn’t just about compensation. It’s about treating people with mental health and addiction issues in an honest manner and not taking advantage of their disabilities to rip them off.”
For their part, according to Paramount’s filing, Knoxville, Tremaine, and Jonze all considered Margera “a close friend” and tied the wellness clause into his Jackass Forever contract because they firmly believed that, due to his substance abuse problems, Margera’s “life was in danger.”
Jackass Forever is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on February 4, 2022.
(Via The Wrap)