While Bam Margera was entertaining millions on MTV, most of his fans didn't know that behind closed doors he was battling a viscious eating disorder.
Bam's parents, April and Phil Margera, reflected on the demons and bad habits of the 37-year-old Viva La Bam regular.
"When you're on camera a lot, people have a lot to say," April said. "He always wanted to have this very slim, slim look. A lot of it happened when he became good friends with [HIM singer] Ville Valo."
Bam said Valo introduced him to heavy drinking, which he later used as a crutch to curb his appetite. "I remember when me and Ville Valo were out in London and he woke up at noon, opened up the mini bar and cracked open a beer. That was the first time I was introduced to day drinking."
April says that eventually, Bam's behavior manifested itself into bulimia.
"Ville drank a lot… He's the loveliest man ever, but he never ate," she said. "He just drank. I think Bam started sipping on a beer because he liked the way he looked."
"We would go out to dinner and he would immediately excuse himself and go to the bathroom," she remembered. "I'd say, 'Are you throwing up?' And he says, 'Yeah, yeah. Sometimes I throw up and that way I'm not gonna get fat.'"
Bam said that although he didn't start drinking habitually until he was a grown adult, the lifestyle it brought with it proved too much to handle.
"I didn't start officially drinking until maybe 24 or 25," he said. "Then the rock star life and drinking spun out of control."
Bam is now sober and living in Spain with his pregnant wife, but for the five years when he couldn't skate due to bone spurs, he says that nightclub appearances were his only source of income — another lifestyle that easily lended itself to heavy drinking.0comments
Although the now-retired pro skater is healthy and well, April says his eating disorder has left lasting marks.
"It really hurts me when people make comments. 'You look like you gained some weight there.' I don't respond but I feel like saying, 'He was drinking alcohol and he was bulimic. And that's why he was thin.'"