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Johnny Knoxville suffered brain damage following horrific stunt on the filming of Jackass Forever

Howard Stern and Johnny Knoxville
(Image credit: Howard Stern)

Over the years, Johnny Knoxville has carried out a fair few dangerous stunts, making us all believe that he somehow must be made of rubber, or perhaps, that he's secretly immortal. According to the Jackass star though, he actually suffered brain damage following a particularly risky stunt involving a bull on the filming for the upcoming Jackass Forever movie, proving that his Devil-may-care attitude towards his own safety does in fact have a limit.

Knoxville, who was charged at by the animal, suffered a broken wrist and broken ribs, plus a concussion that resulted in a brain haemorrhage. Ouch.

“My cognitive abilities were in steep decline after that hit,” Knoxville tells Howard Stern, discussing the harrowing incident.  “The bull hit was the worst hit I’ve ever taken from a bull or maybe period. I remember taking some tests. The neurosurgeon said, ‘Do you have trouble paying attention right now?’ I said, ‘Yeah, why?’ He goes, ‘Because you scored a 17 on [your attention].’ That’s out of 100.

“I had to go under all these type of treatments, this transcranial magnetic stimulation, which they buzz your head with these magnets for about 30 minutes at a time for like, oh god, I would say 10 to 12 treatments over a series of two months and it’s supposed to help with depression and help with my cognitive skills.

"It was a tough one to come back from. I was trying to edit the movie at the time, but I couldn’t sit still.”

Speaking about how the impact of the stunt was more severe than any from his past, he continues, “I did slip into a little bit of a depression with this last concussion. That hasn’t happened before.

"My brain was just playing tricks on me. I got really depressed and over-focused on things. I did have to start medication for the first time in my life. It completely turned me around — that and doing therapy. It was a really hard recovery from this last injury, but I’m great now. I feel like I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been.”

Jackass Forever is due to be released in cinemas on February 4. Watch the full interview below:

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.