Johnny Knoxville Reflects on Bam Margera's Absence from Jackass Forever : 'Really Heartbreaking'

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Bam Margera Sues Johnny Knoxville
Bam Margera Sues Johnny Knoxville

getty (2) Bam Margera (L); Johnny Knoxville

Johnny Knoxville is reflecting on his former Jackass costar Bam Margera's absence from the franchise's upcoming fourth full-length feature, Jackass Forever.

The 50-year-old actor recently opened up to Variety in an interview surrounding the film's upcoming release, saying that the cast and crew "wanted" Margera, 42, to appear "all throughout the movie, but unfortunately that's not the way it worked out."

Knoxville and Margera are currently embroiled in a legal battle, after the latter sued Knoxville and others back in August for what he alleged was a wrongful firing from Jackass Forever. (A Paramount representative declined to comment on the lawsuit to Variety, and the publication could not reach Margera for comment.)

Two months previous, director Jeff Tremaine was granted a temporary restraining order against Margera, after the former TV star allegedly sent Tremaine and his family death threats. In September, Margera's wife Nicole Boyd was reportedly seeking custody of their 4-year-old son Phoenix, while Margera reportedly re-entered a rehab facility that same month.

"It's really heartbreaking," Knoxville told Variety of Margera's absence from the film in all but one stunt. "I love Bam. We all love Bam. He's our brother, you know? You just hope that he takes it upon himself to get the help that he needs, because we all care about him a lot."

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Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera
Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera

KMazur/WireImage Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera

RELATED: Jackass Star Bam Margera Back in Rehab After Incident at Florida Hotel: Report

According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Margera sued Knoxville, Tremaine, 55, writer/producer Spike Jonze and Paramount Pictures alleging "inhumane, abusive and discriminatory treatment" of him.

The star was fired from the franchise in 2020 after testing positive for Adderall, a supposed violation of his "wellness agreement," which he signed with the film's producers.

Margera, who has struggled with substance abuse and been in and out of rehab in the past, alleged in his lawsuit that Jonze, 52, Tremaine and Knoxville "accosted him and coerced him into signing a draconian 'Wellness Agreement.' " If he didn't, he claimed, they told him he would be cut from all future Jackass projects.

Of whether he was surprised by Margera's August filing, Knoxville — who has not returned PEOPLE's request for comment about the lawsuit, nor have reps for Tremaine, Jonze or Paramount Pictures — told Variety in his recent interview, "Yes and no."

"Because he's in such a way that anything's possible," he explained. "So, something will break your heart — but it might not shock you."

RELATED VIDEO: Bam Margera Sues Johnny Knoxville Over Jackass Forever Firing, Alleges "Inhumane" Treatment

In May — the same month Margera posted an Instagram video claiming Knoxville and Tremaine "betrayed" him — Knoxville told GQ that the death of Jackass cast member Ryan Dunn, who died in 2011 in a drunk-driving accident, was "heartbreaking" and served as an impetus to help his friends who were struggling with addictions.

"I think each of us was responsible for his own actions and when someone's struggling, everyone tries to help that person. And at the end of the day, that person has to want help. Sometimes they don't. Yet," he said in part.

As for whether he was speaking about Margera, Knoxville said, "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."

"I don't want to get into [a] public back-and-forth with Bam," he added. "I just want him to get better."

Jackass Forever is in theaters Feb. 4.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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