Ronnie Ortiz-Magro is back on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation after previously taking a hiatus from the show. After more than two years away, he will be reuniting with ex Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola during season 7. But why did Ronnie leave in the first place?

Why Did Ronnie Leave ‘Jersey Shore’?

The MTV vet announced his departure from the long-running reality series in May 2021 just days after he was arrested on domestic violence charges

“After talking to the team at MTV, we have mutually agreed that I will step away from the show while I seek medical treatment for mental health issues that I’ve ignored for too long,” he wrote via Instagram Stories on May 13, 2021. “My No. 1 goal now is facing my struggles head on. This process will be difficult, but my No. 1 priority is to get healthy and be the best man and the best father I can [be] for my daughter.” 

Ronnie was arrested in Los Angeles in April 2021 before being released on a $100,000 bond.

“I am grateful for all of my real friends! Thank you for being by my [side] the last few week[s]. I take all experiences as lessons,” he shared following his release. “You learn who really cares about you when you’re down and out and [then] you see who doesn’t!” 

The former reality star’s attorneys, Scott E. Leemon and Leonard Levine, later told Us Weekly that “the L.A. County District Attorney’s office and the L.A. City Attorney’s office determined that criminal charges were not warranted against Ronnie related to the incident that occurred in April.”

He continued appearing in previously-filmed episodes until January 2022.

When Did Ronnie Return to ‘Jersey Shore’?

Before making a full return to Jersey Shore: Family Vacation during season 7 in 2024, Ronnie showed up in a handful of episodes. His first return was in August 2022, where he reunited with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino for a lunch meeting. During the conversation, Ronnie revealed that he was sober and acting as a “full-time dad” to his daughter, Ariana. He also said that he eventually wanted to reunite with the other cast members and “own up to [his] mistakes.”

Ronnie popped up again during a March 2023 episode. While he still wasn’t filming with the rest of the cast, fans got an update on his life. He revealed that he was moving from Los Angeles to Miami and said, “I was in treatment for eight or nine months. It helped me grow and made me a stronger person. Now, I have full custody of my daughter. It’s a lot of hard work, but she keeps me balanced.”

In August 2023, Ronnie was finally ready to address his future on the show. He met up with Mike again and said, “I feel at peace for the first time in a lot of years. I know I made my mistakes and I want to ask the roommates for their forgiveness.” However, he revealed that no one in the cast answered text messages that he sent them.

Meanwhile, Ronnie’s ex-girlfriend Sammi announced her long-awaited return to the Shore in March 2023, something she previously chose not to do, claiming she was “at a completely different place” in her life. Her decision to come back seemingly had to do with Ronnie’s absence.

However, that didn’t last long. In April 2023, Ronnie was seen filming for the show in Orlando, Florida, during the same cast trip that Sammi was also on. The episode aired in October 2023, but the exes did not film any scenes together. While Sammi was out doing her own thing, Ronnie had the chance to spend time with the rest of his roommates and make amends with them.

Did Ronnie and Sammi Reunite on ‘Jersey Shore’?

Season 7 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation filmed in the fall of 2023 and featured Ronnie and Sammi reuniting for the first time. The episodes aired in the first half of 2024. Ron was invited on a cast trip to Nashville, Tennessee, and Sammi came to terms with the fact that she was going to have to come face-to-face with her ex. Photos also showed the duo filming scenes together in Arizona in November 2023.

“I mean, nobody wants to work with an ex,” Sammi told The New York Post. “Listen, I knew signing up again that he is a part of this too. And it’s kind of like … no … I don’t want to be working with this person, but at this point in my life, he doesn’t affect me and where I’m at in my own life. He’s just there doing his job as well.”

Viewers will see the exes reunite during the April 11, 2024, episode. “I honestly never thought I’d be back, yet alone be on vacation with my ex, so of course I’m gonna be on edge,” Sammi said in a preview for the episode. “It was hard for me to come back in the first place, so I hope they can see where I’m coming from.” In a separate confessional, Ronnie added, “Me and Sammi, we don’t have to be friends, but we’ve known each other for so long, there’s gonna be that instant feeling of something. Whether it’s good or bad, I don’t know. I’m just gonna see what happens.”

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