Bam Margera & Family Detail His Struggle With Alcohol, Past Battle With Bulimia

By Desiree Bowie 09/12/17

Bam and his family and friends opened up about his rise to stardom, the death of his best friend, and his battle with drinking and bulimia.

Bam Margera
Photo via YouTube

A recent episode of Epicly Later’d chronicled the life of world famous skater Bam Margera, and the extreme ups and downs he's experienced since his meteoric rise to stardom on MTV's Jackass. 

The show examined Margera's spiral into alcohol addiction, which was exacerbated by the tragic death of his best friend and Jackass co-star Ryan Dunn in 2011. Last year, the Margera family appeared on an episode of VH1's Family Therapy With Dr. Jenn where Bam admitted that Dunn's death left a hole inside of him that he tried to fill with alcohol. 

Since that show aired, Bam began to clean up his act. Earlier this year, the 37-year-old spoke with Jenkem mag about his fight to stay sober. He discussed moving to Spain in an effort to stay away from drinking and surround himself with friends who were a better influence, though he still found sobriety to be a major struggle.

"I never had any pill problems and I’ve never tried heroin in my life, but it’s been a real struggle for me to stay off the alcohol. But just as long you’re surrounded by good people and you have something to do, you’ll be good," he told Jenkem. "Like in Barcelona I wake up and my mission is to skate all day. I know being in Spain is the best place for me right now to not drink."

On Epicly Later'd, Bam's father Phil revealed that his wife April became worried while visiting Bam in Spain back in March, after noticing that he'd had a couple glasses of wine with dinner despite being on a "sober kick." Nevertheless, she conceded, "He's fine, he's doing fine in Spain."

But it wasn't fine. Phil disclosed that a couple weeks after his wife's visit, Bam began "drinking until he was crazy." But Phil remains hopeful, stating, "He hasn't conquered drinking but he's still trying."

While Margera has been open about his struggles with alcohol, this is the first time his battle with bulimia has been addressed publicly. 

“When you’re on camera a lot, people have a lot to say," said his mother April. "He always wanted to have this very slim look, and it kind of happened when he became good friends with Ville Valo [the svelte lead singer of HIM]. Ville drank a lot. I mean, he is the loveliest man ever, but he never ate, he just drank. I think Bam started sipping on a beer or sipping on a something because he liked the way he looked.”

April describes confronting Bam about his visits to the bathroom after dinner. “We would go out to dinner and then he would immediately excuse himself and go to the bathroom,” she said. “I said, ‘Are you throwing up?’ He says, ‘Yeah, yeah, sometimes I throw up and that way I’m not gonna get fat.’”

Bam was actively trying to avoid gaining weight to avoid being physically compared to his dad Phil and late uncle Vito, who both struggled with their weight.

“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,’” April said. “I don’t respond, but I feel like saying, ‘He was drinking alcohol and he was bulimic and that’s why he was thin.’”

After spending a year in Europe, Bam has now returned to his home in Pennsylvania where he is skating again. He is also expecting a baby with his wife Nikki Boyd Margera.

"The only reason why I was drinking so much was because I didn't have anything to do. Right now, learning how to skate again is something to do and I can't do that while drinking," Bam said.

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Desiree Bowie is a writer and movie lover from Los Angeles, California. Follow her on Twitter @dangerbowie