Bam Margera Opens Up About His 'Mental Breakdown' and How His Son, 1, Prevented Him from Suicide
Bam Margera is opening up about his recent “mental breakdown” — and how his toddler son, Phoenix, prevented him from ending his life more than a month ago.
“He is the raddest kid ever. He’s so interested in skateboarding. I have all these toys everywhere and he just goes right to the skateboard. He’s like my best friend and I’ve known him for not even two years,” a crying Margera, 39, said on Monday’s Dr. Phil, about Phoenix, who turns 2 in December. “He’s perfect.”
“I can’t even put into words. Like, I would dive into any train or anything and get stabbed or shot or whatever just to make sure he didn’t,” the Jackass alum said on the episode, filmed Aug. 5, as he wiped away tears.
When Dr. Phil, 69, questioned if Margera would die for Phoenix, the former MTV star said, “Yeah, big time,” before the TV host pressed, “The question is: will you live for him?”
“Well, that’s the thing. I had such a mental breakdown that I really thought like I … could just go to the lake and be free. I was like the pain was gone and I had to beg for pain back. I was like, ‘Please just give me back my pain so I could stay because I want to be with him,’ ” he said, before he denied being at a lake to kill himself. “I knew that it was like my judgment day.”
“Whatever breaking point there is to a person, I’ve reached it,” he said.
One week prior to the Aug. 5 filming of his Dr. Phil episode, Margera said he had the “nervous breakdown.” On the episode, Margera explained that the reason he was speaking with the longtime TV personality was due to exasperation with his mother, April, and wife Nicole, with whom he shares Phoenix.
“It was just everything all at once,” Margera said of what triggered the breakdown. “It was Nikki and her stubbornness not listening and I’m trying to get away from her and she keeps coming and talking at me and yelling at me and, ‘I just need a minute. Please. Please!’ ” he said, also noting his mother’s “negativity.”
” ‘If I ever go crazy, it’s because of you two,’ ” he said, referencing Nikki and April.
Margera said he was “so frustrated” and admitted: “If I didn’t see Phoenix, who knows where I’d be.”
When Dr. Phil asked Margera what he would have done if he hadn’t seen his son, Margera made an arm motion, which he explained means, “I’m signing off.”
Dr. Phil then asked “killing yourself?” which Margera said, “not because I wanted to. It’s ’cause the option of … I can go now if I want. You’ve done enough.”
Margera was arrested in connection with trespassing just before midnight at a hotel in Los Angeles, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE. According to the L.A. County inmate information center, he was released on a $1,000 bail.
TMZ reported that immediately after Margera was released from police custody, he was readmitted to rehab. A rep for Margera was unable to be reached at the time.
In the videos, he told Dr. Phil that he’s seen 28 doctors and attended four rehab programs, none of which have seemed to help. He also claimed to have “disowned” April, and said he couldn’t “stand” his wife and feared she would use their son as “bait” in a separation battle.
For Margera’s appearance on Dr. Phil, Nicole was invited onto the episode, where she said of her husband: “I’m not going to apologize for caring about you. He was upset because, you know, I’ll ask him certain questions or I’ll bring certain things up in concern and he doesn’t like that very much.”
Margera then explained that “she either thinks I’m on too many of my Aderols, so she looks at my eyes … she’s like an FBI agent and a detective, or she thinks that I somehow, some way track down Meth. I didn’t sign up to date a detective. It’s like when I told her, ‘Don’t text me, don’t call me,’ you broke the rule. Bing. ‘What rule?’ You come barging in,” he said as he impersonated her yelling at him. “You’re in my realm … you’re not even supposed to be here. You don’t listen. You don’t follow rules! I don’t want to see you, talk to you or anything you. I want you to leave me alone,” he said as Nicole wiped away tears from her eyes.
He then recalled the moment Nicole “showed up to the castle, and then I went mental — even crazier than the other one. You want to see me go down in flames.”
For her part, Nicole said that when she showed up to his house, she merely wanted to bring him food. While Dr. Phil told her she should have respected Margera’s wishes of not being there, the talk show host asked also Margera if he saw “anything wrong with the way you’ve been interacting with [Nicole] in the last 10 minutes here.”
Dr. Phil was then quick to call the communication Margera was having with Nicole “purely abusive” and told her “you should not put up with that at all” before he said that Margera owed both his mother and wife an apology “for yelling and screaming at her and intimidating her.”
During Monday’s emotional episode, Margera said about his strained relationship with his mother: “Something happened to where everything just escalated into like my mom’s big problem with the castle was I threw paint everywhere. Like, in the kitchen all different colors everywhere. it looked cool for a picture like for a magazine, but living status, it looked like a North Philly crack house. When I moved to Estonia for two years, she’s just like, ‘I’m just going to make this place like Martha Stewart-worthy.’ I’m like, ‘Have at it.’ So now I come back and I’m like, ‘Wow, I really like what you did with the place.’ So now, if anybody comes in now, she doesn’t want anybody sitting anywhere or doing anything. So I’m like, ‘Hold up, is this your house or mine? Because last time I checked, I bought it and then it’s mine.’ ”
He then confirmed that because he had been “so overwhelmed,” he was prepared for his life to end. But when he saw Phoenix, he resisted taking it.
“I think I just need help with my mom and Nikki just understanding like rules,” he explained.
During her appearance on the show, April explained the drama between herself and Margera, noting that the house was partially part of the frustration.
“About a year and a half ago, I said to Bam, ‘What should we do with the castle house? I have a good idea. It’ll take me about a year to rehab this place and strip it down and get rid of everything and it did take me a year of very, very hard work to put it up for Airbnb. But he didn’t want anybody to stay there. he wanted to put his own friends in there, which are the same group that brings them down and they’re just transient people,” she said, and later added, “I don’t know what he’s on and I don’t know why he’s acting so crazy.”
At the time of filming, Margera denied doing drugs, but told Dr. Phil that on the flight he had “one glass of champagne” and daily he takes “two 10 milligram Aderols” in addition to others things that doctors have prescribed he take, but he has since stopped taking.
Wrapping the episode, Dr. Phil gave an update on the reality star. “Bam went to detox at Alo House Recovery. But he didn’t stay put. First he went on a field trip from the facility and decided it would be a great idea to get a tattoo of my name on his neck,” said Dr. Phil, who explained that Margera “checked himself out.”
“This time, he ended up at a hotel in Hollywood, where he was arrested,” said Dr. Phil. “He decided his life was worth fighting for and checked back into the detox facility before moving to a different rehabilitation center where we are told he is making great strides.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.