Former Jackass star Bam Margera discussed a recent “mental breakdown” in a highly touted episode of Dr. Phil on Monday, saying that without his son, Phoenix, who turns 2 in December, he would likely be dead.
“He’s like my best friend, and I’ve known him for not even two years.” Margera, 39, told Dr. Phil McGraw in a sit-down interview filmed early last month. “I would dive into any train or anything, and get stabbed or shot or whatever just to make sure he didn’t.”
In response, McGraw, 69, acknowledged that while Margera was saying he would die for his son, “the question is, will you live for him?”
“That’s the thing. I had such a mental breakdown that I really thought, like, I had the choice of just go to the lake and be free,” Margera said, later denying that he had gone to a lake to die by suicide. “I knew that it was, like, my judgement day. Whatever breaking point there is to a person, I’ve reached it.”
Margera explained further that about a week before filming his interview with McGraw, he suffered a nervous breakdown. Primarily, the West Chester native said, his crisis was triggered by increasingly difficult relationships with his wife, Nicole, and his mother, April, adding that “if I ever go crazy, it’s because of [those] two.”
“If I didn’t see Phoenix, who knows where I’d be,” he said, gesturing with his arms to indicate he would be “signing off.”
“Killing yourself?” McGraw asked.
“Not because I wanted to,” Margera said. “It’s because the option of, ‘I can go now if I want. You’ve done enough.’”
Margera’s interview came after a series of Instagram posts last month in which the pro skateboarder asked McGraw for help. In those clips, which have since been deleted from his profile, Margera said that he has seen as many as 28 doctors and pursued sobriety in four rehab programs. He also claimed he had cut ties with his mother, and that his wife would use their son against him in the event of a separation.
Nicole appeared on Margera’s episode of Dr. Phil, saying that she would not “apologize for caring about” him.
“I’ll ask him certain questions, or I’ll bring certain things up in concern, and he doesn’t like that very much,” she said.
Margera, meanwhile, accused his wife of acting like “an FBI agent and a detective” because she “thinks I’m on too many Adderalls” or believes “I somehow, some way [tracked] down meth.” Margera denied being on drugs at the time of his appearance on the show.
“I don’t want to see you, talk to you, or anything you,” Margera told Nicole. “I want you to leave me alone.”
McGraw, meanwhile, called Margera’s manner of speaking to his wife “purely abusive,” and added that the former Jackass star should make amends for “yelling and screaming at her and intimidating her.”
Margera also discussed his strained relationship with his mother, mostly pointing to the remodeling of Castle Bam. Last year, April rehabilitated and redecorated the Pocopson Township property with the intent to put the home up as a rental on AirBnB. She said Margera “didn’t want anybody to stay there” aside from “his own friends … which are the same group that brings him down, and they’re just transient people.”
“If anybody comes in now, she doesn’t want anybody sitting anywhere or doing anything,” Margera said. “So I’m like, ‘Hold up, is this your house or mine? Because last time I checked, I bought it.’”
McGraw ended the episode with an update on Margera’s condition, confirming that the former reality TV star had checked out of the facility in which his team had arranged a stay before being arrested for trespassing at a Los Angeles hotel. McGraw said Margera was then readmitted to the facility before later checking out and entering a new one, Wavelengths Recovery in Huntingdon Beach, according to a post on Margera’s Instagram account.
McGraw said Margera is “making great strides” toward sobriety in his current rehab program. However, he added, Margera will “most likely face more hurdles.”
“It is not unusual for addicts and alcoholics to have to go through relapses from anywhere from four to seven or eight times before it finally takes hold,” McGraw said. “Whatever the case may be, Bam is a good man at heart, and we are rooting for him, and we’ll stand by him on his journey of recovery.”