So, what’s new with Ronnie?
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro made his return to “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” on the Thursday, Aug. 11, episode after an eight-month hiatus from the show due partly to legal trouble stemming from two domestic abuse cases. He had a sitdown with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino at Patricia’s of Holmdel.
Much was said, a lot was unsaid – and some you had to read between the lines.
“Haven’t been on the East Coast in a while,” said Ronnie in a confessional. “Been a long year and it’s been a lot of doing the right thing, just being a full-time dad and being sober, you know. Living the best life I can live, one day at a time.”
“I want Mike to see where I am in my life because I’ve gone to treatment before and slipped up,” he said. “Now I’m sober and that’s humbled me out.”
Mike said that he’s been in touch with Ronnie, although no mention of any contact has been made on the show. Ronnie was removed from the opening credits in January.
“To be honest with you, I heard you’re doing the right thing, you know,” said Mike to Ronnie. “I mean, are you?”
More:‘Jersey Shore’ cast takes Ronnie’s legal troubles seriously
“Yeah, yeah, I am bro,” Ronnie said. “Part of the process of being sober and going through the steps is getting a sponsor. He checks in on me, makes sure I’m doing the right thing.”
Sponsors are used in Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and related programs to help guide addicts on their journey to sobriety. Ronnie’s sponsor made an appearance on Thursday’s show, although his image and voice were obscured. He said Ronnie was doing “great.”
Ronnie, who’s living in Los Angeles, was also shown with his 4-year daughter Ariana, whom he had with his ex, Jen Harley.
“I have Ariana full time now. That is basically the best thing that’s happened to me,” Ronnie said. “Part of being a full-time dad and having her all the time is I have to dedicate time to what she wants to do. My whole life revolves around this person, this little tiny person.”
No explanation of how, or why, Ronnie has Ariana “full time” was given.
More:New MTV series Jersey Shore 2.0 will not be filming in Seaside Heights this summer
As for the rest of Ronnie’s “Jersey Shore” roomies, there is still work to do. They’ve been publicly keeping their distance. When Ronnie announced that he and Saffire Matos were engaged last June (they are no longer engaged), they were silent. Nor did the roomies mention Ronnie at the MTV Movie and TV Awards in May 2021 when they were big winners.
“I want to sit down with everyone and tell them ‘Listen, I’ve made my mistakes and I have to own them,’ ” Ronnie said. “I can’t hide from them.”
Mike doesn’t know if that will be enough.
“I can’t make that determination if it’s right for the squad,” Mike said. “But it’s really necessary at the end of the day because his actions have affected every single one.”
Ronnie was arrested on suspicion of intimate partner violence in April 2021 in Los Angeles, but avoided jail when a judge in September determined that the time he spent in treatment was significant enough to forgo a sentence behind bars.
He had previously pled no contest to one count of domestic battery and one count of resisting arrest from an October 2019 incident in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles, when police were called to a home where he, ex-girlfriend Jen Harley and then 20-month old Ariana were staying.
MTV stated that Ronnie was stepping away from the show after the April 2021 arrest to address his mental health issues.
“I’m eager for you to eventually sit down with some of the others because I can definitely see a difference,” said Mike on Thursday.
More:Castmates were quiet when Ronnie announced engagement
On a lighter note, “The Meatball Show,” starring Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Deena Cortese, debuted on Thursday’s show. The “show” was filmed in the backyard of Deena’s Jackson home, and her husband, Chris Buckner, was the producer.
Angelina Pivarnick, production assistant, drove the talent to the “studio.” She picked up TV host Jerry Springer on a street in Jackson. He drank a bottle of water while Nicole and Deena guzzled wine and played with a breathalyzer.
“I have never been on a show where the host has to use a breathalyzer,” Springer quipped. “You’re going off the deep end.”
“Jersey Shore Family Vacation” airs 8 p.m. ET Thursdays on MTV.
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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers music and entertainment for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected]