Sometimes your friends kick you in the groin, sometimes they save your life — that's just how the "Jackass" boys roll.
Last March, after Steve-O hit rock bottom during a harrowing drug- and alcohol-fueled binge, Johnny Knoxville and many others in the "Jackass" crew of daredevils staged an intervention for their friend and colleague. Steve-O landed in a psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles. Now, more than a year later, he's sober and set to debut an unsparing documentary about his addiction and recovery, "Steve-O: Demise and Rise," premiering Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.
"They've been there in the good times and the bad," Steve-O said of the "Jackass" guys in a recent interview with MTV News. "When you go through what I've been through, you find out who your friends are. I got some good friends. I'm really grateful."
He can offer such sentiments now, but the experience of being locked up was nothing short of traumatic. "The psychiatric ward was a really creepy place and, hindsight being 20/20, the creepiest thing about it was that I truly belonged there," Steve-O said.
Even now — more than 13 months sober — Steve-O must contend with what he described as "moments of absolute defenselessness" in his quest to stay clean and has had to cut loose people who did not have his best interests in mind. "Anybody that's not supportive of me staying sober obviously has to go," he said. "But on the other hand, there are not really a lot of people who don't want me to stay sober. I was a nightmare."
One person who always will have Steve-O's back is Knoxville. "We were there before he got into show business, before he was on 'Jackass,' and we were there when he completely, absolutely spun out of control and almost lost his life," Knoxville told MTV News.
While Steve-O maintains that "Demise and Rise" is not meant to cast him as a role model, he is hopeful that viewers might benefit from watching his self-destruction and recovery. "People who have loved ones that have really gotten to that point, if this shows an intervention really did a lot to get me on a better track, maybe this will inspire people to do something and intervene on loved ones," he said.