Bam Margera, one of the original cast members of the MTV series “Jackass,” has filed a lawsuit against Paramount, former co-star Johnny Knoxville, director Jeffrey Tremaine, and franchise producer Spike Jonze after being fired from the upcoming “Jackass Forever.” As reported by Variety, Margera alleges he was “coerced into signing a ‘wellness agreement’ while he was in rehab in 2019 and said that if he didn’t he would be excluded from ‘Jackass Forever.’” Margera said Tremaine, Knoxville, and Jonze “accosted him and coerced him” into signing the agreement. Filming on “Jackass Forever” started with Margera, but he was then fired for breaking the wellness agreement.
Variety reported: “The suit alleges that Margera was fired after testing positive for Adderall, even though he has taken Adderall by prescription for 10 years. The suit likens Margera’s treatment to Britney Spears’ conservatorship case, alleging that he has been victimized as a result of his mental health issues.”
“Paramount’s inhumane treatment of Margera cannot be countenanced,” the suit states. “Margera 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.”
A report on the lawsuit published by The Hollywood Reporter reveals the wellness agreement “allowed for [Margera’s] immediate termination [from ‘Jackass Forever’] in the event he didn’t blow into a breathalyzer three times a day, submit to a urinalysis twice a week, have his hair follicles tested on a regular basis, and take pills every morning while on a FaceTime call with a doctor hired by Paramount.”
“Margera did not slip up,” the lawsuit states. “He followed the provisions of the Wellness Agreement to a tee, at great personal cost. Defendants’ treatment of Margera exacerbated his mental health issues and led to suicidal thoughts. But still, Margera persevered — only to have the rug pulled out from under him.”
“One of the numerous drug tests Margera was forced to submit to demonstrated that he was taking prescription Adderall,” the lawsuit adds. “Defendants knew full well that Margera had to take 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.”
Johnny Knoxville has mostly avoided talking about Margera’s firing in press interviews. The “Jackass” star told GQ magazine earlier that he wanted Margera to get better and would not “get into a public back-and-forth” with him, adding, “We want Bam to be happy and healthy and get the help he needs. We tried to push that along. I think that’s all I really want to say about it.”
IndieWire has reached out to Paramount for further comment. The studio is opening “Jackass Forever” in theaters October 22.
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