In the early 2000s, almost every person with a television and even the slightest interest in pop culture knew who Bam Margera was. The professional skateboarder made a name for himself not only through skating, but also through his out-there videos.
In fact, those videos led to the hit MTV shows “Jackass” and “Viva La Bam.”
Sadly, however, as some could have predicted, a life full of ruthless pranks and alcohol wasn’t exactly healthy.
In addition to alcoholism, Bam’s lifestyle eventually led him to develop a life-threatening condition: an eating disorder.
Though the skater has been off the map for quite some time now, Margera, along with his family and friends, opened up in a recent documentary series, Viceland’s “Epicly Later’d.”
The production crew caught up with him in Europe, where he’s been living for the past few years. He realized everyone around him at home was either contributing to his drinking problem or just using him, plain and simple.
Basically, he said he moved away because he needed to get healthy.
Per the Daily Mail, his mother, April, who also frequently appeared on his MTV shows, said that when his fame skyrocketed, his health plummeted — especially after meeting Ville Valo, the frontman of rock band HIM:
“He always wanted to have this very slim, slim look and a lot of it kind of happened when he became good friends with Ville Valo.”
The two got into the habit of drinking all throughout the day and night, and basically not eating. According to the Daily Mail, Margera recalled the time when that all started:
“I remember when me and Ville Valo were out in London and he woke up at noon, opened up the mini bar and cracked open a beer. That was the first time I was introduced to day drinking.”
And from there, his life decidedly went in one direction — down:
“I didn’t start officially drinking until maybe 24 or 25. Then the rock star life and drinking spun out of control.”
His mother agreed, saying he just got sucked into a world where being cool matters most:
“I think Bam started sipping on a beer or sipping on a something because he liked the way he looked.”
It wasn’t until later that Valo, whom April still describes as “the loveliest man ever,” introduced Margera to bulimia.
April opened up about the moment she realized her son’s lifestyle had gone from bad to worse:
“We would go out to dinner and then he would immediately excuse himself and go to the bathroom. I said, ‘Are you throwing up?’ He says, ‘Yeah, yeah, sometimes I throw up and that way I’m not gonna get fat.'”
She knew something had to give.
Eventually, Margera was able to overcome the eating disorder, but the reaction to his subsequent weight gain is something that pains April to this very day:
“It really hurts me when people make comments like, ‘You look like you gained some weight there.’ ‘Hey, wow, Bam… you’re looking like your dad.’
I don’t respond, but I feel like saying, ‘He was drinking alcohol and he was bulimic and that’s why he was thin.'”
Margera is still struggling with alcohol abuse — something his friends say he’s on the edge of either beating or falling back into — but he’s finally ready to get back on his skateboard.
He told Viceland that several years ago, a doctor told him that his body was so severely dehydrated from alcohol abuse, skating could prove especially dangerous — it could snap his bones. But after his journey toward a healthier lifestyle, the former skating pro is slowly, but surely, gaining back his muscle memory.
His friends said that skating is the only thing healthy in his life — apart from his wife and family.
So while longtime fans who stumble across the “Jackass” star might comment on his weight or rusty skating skills, his story reminds people that everyone is going through something — even those who seemed to have had it all.