Dealing with his legal issues hasn’t been easy lately for Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, but, luckily, his Jersey Shore family will always be there for him. While chatting with In Touch at the E! People’s Choice Awards, Deena Cortese revealed she and the rest of their costars are standing by their friend. Though he’s facing seven misdemeanor charges — and recently plead not guilty to all of them — Deena told In Touch their TV family is on his side.

“You know, he’s doing the best he can with everything, but we’ll always have his back no matter what,” the 32-year-old reality star told In Touch. “He was in New Orleans with us,” she revealed. “We just saw him.” Marveling about the fact that they’ve been living their lives in the public eye for a decade, Deena revealed she’s proud of the progress all of them have made. “I think Jersey Shore changed me in a positive way, because I learned myself,” she said. “I think I was a little lost back then, and now I know who I am, and now I’m a mom. … You guys are literally watching us just grow as people.”

Of course, 33-year-old Ronnie’s rocky relationship sounds pretty familiar — and seems to mirror the one he and Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola shared throughout their 20s. This time around, however, the stakes are higher than ever. On October 4, he was arrested and booked on kidnapping charges related to an alleged domestic violence altercation he had with ex-girlfriend Jen Harley. Though he was released on bail hours later and a protective order filed against him on his ex’s behalf was later dropped, he was hit with charges of willfully inflicting corporal injury to spouse or cohabitant, one count of brandishing a weapon (a knife), one count of willful and unlawful criminal threats, one count of false imprisonment, one count of child endangerment and two counts of resisting arrest.

Side-by-Side Photos of Deena Cortese and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro
Matt Baron/Shutterstock; Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/Shutterstock

Since then, a judge approved another protective order on Jen’s behalf, banning Ronnie from seeing or speaking to his ex or their daughter, Ariana. Regardless, the MTV star is maintaining his innocence. “The facts and circumstances around Ronnie’s arrest have been misreported and exaggerated, like we mentioned in the past,” attorney Scott E. Leemon said in a statement obtained by In Touch on October 28. “We are happy the District Attorney’s refused to file any charges and we look forward to addressing this matter with City Attorney; until then, we will make no further comment.”

Deena’s defense of Ronnie isn’t the first time the Jersey Shore personality’s costars have spoken out on his behalf. In early October, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino alleged Jen, 32, staged the photos of bruises she allegedly obtained during the violent altercation. “I feel like she went out intentionally to get a photo of her. … She wants it to be a thing. She wants to show off her bruises. We don’t know how she got the bruises,” Snooki said on her podcast, “It’s Happening With Snooki & Joey.” Mike added, “There are three sides to a story — his side, her side and the truth. I don’t really know what happened, but we have to speak to him first to get his truth, and then we can guide him going forward and put these mistakes behind [us].”

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