Bam Margera sues Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, and more over Jackass Forever firing
Margera's attorneys filed a lawsuit Monday against his former Jackass collaborators — including director Jeffrey Tremaine and well as producers Dickhouse Entertainment and Gorilla Flicks — alleging that Margera was illegally fired from the film "so they could steal the popular and lucrative movie franchise and not compensate him." Margera is suing for millions of dollars in damages as well as seeking an injunction to prevent the film's release (currently slated for Oct. 22) for "inhumane, abusive and discriminatory treatment… and for their wrongful termination of him from the Jackass franchise he created."
EW has reached out to representatives for Paramount, Knoxville, Jonze, and Tremaine for comment.
"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," Margera said in a statement provided to EW. "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."
The 41-year-old skateboarder and stunt performer rose to fame in the early 2000s, after his CKY video series served as one of the inspirations for the Jackass franchise. He joined the cast for the Jackass TV series and appeared in the subsequent films Jackass: The Movie, Jackass Number Two, Jackass 2.5, Jackass 3D, and Jackass 3.5. Margera went on to create the TV spin-offs Viva La Bam and Bam's Unholy Union, and also appeared in Grind, Nitro Circus, and other film and TV series.
The lawsuit alleges that Margera, who has been open about his struggles and in and out of rehab over the years, signed a contract with Paramount for the fourth Jackass film that was conditioned on a "Wellness Agreement," which Margera was "coerced" into signing by Knoxville and Jonze, who "accosted him" while he was in a rehab facility in 2019. Margera claims the pair told him that if he did not sign then and there, he would be cut from all future Jackass films; he also alleges that he wasn't able to consult an attorney prior to signing. The agreement obligated Margera "to complete daily drug tests, multiple times per day, scheduled and unscheduled, requests for which could come in at any hour of the day or night," the lawsuit says.
Margera claims that he had to check in with a doctor on FaceTime every morning to ensure he "took the cocktail of pills that Paramount's medical team prescribed to him — pills that left him physically and mentally drained, depressed, and a shell of his former self." The suit also says that in August 2020, "after Margera had already put considerable work into the movie, including filming scenes, developing dozens of ideas for inclusion in the film, the vast majority of which are being used in Jackass Forever, Paramount terminated Margera's contract, citing a purported violation of the 'Wellness Agreement.'"
Margera's' "wrongful termination," the suit says, "stems from the fact that one of the numerous drug tests Margera was forced to submit to demonstrated that he was taking prescription Adderall." But, the suit says, "Defendants knew full well that Margera took Adderall to treat his attention deficit disorder. He had been on this medication for several years. But all of this notwithstanding, and without even giving Margera an opportunity to explain, Paramount fired him."
Margera's attorneys claim that his firing was "inhumane treatment" after he was "made to endure psychological torture in the form of a sham 'Wellness Agreement,' and then ultimately terminated for his protected class status due to his medical condition, and his complaints about Defendants' discriminatory conduct towards him."