Ortiz-Magro and Harley's relationship highlights the reality of domestic violence. (Image via Us Weekly)

For Ronnie Ortiz, the Police Are Heeeeeeere

The 'Jersey Shore' star’s recent domestic dispute highlights the sad relationship between violent relationships and reality television.
June 13, 2018
5 mins read

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” is wrapping up the first installment of its much-anticipated comeback. For people unfamiliar with the wildly popular reality television franchise, after the final season of the original “Jersey Shore” in 2012, the cast reunited the past year to star in a nostalgic follow-up on the shore family.

The reception of the reboot was incredibly positive, and somehow the cast has become even more endearing since the majority of the members are either married or have children. “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” was too lucrative to pass up a sequel, and the cast is currently filming their next vacation for its second season in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, all is not well in partying paradise, and besides the regular drunken debauchery promised in every episode, long-time star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro was recently caught up in yet another public incident of domestic violence with his ex, Jen Harley.

On June 7, police responded to the hotel where the next season of the show is being filmed after being Harley and Ortiz-Magro were in a physical altercation. Police determined battery took place, although Harley appeared to be the aggressor. The fight was reportedly about their daughter and Ortiz-Magro’s pet dog, the latter of whom passed away under the care, or lack thereof, of Harley.

The seeming case of animal-negligence aside, similar violence has been an alarming pattern between the on-and-off couple, who became new parents to Arianna Sky on April 3. Since the birth of their child, the couple has had several extremely public fights, including during Harley’s April 23 Facebook live stream, which featured Ortiz-Magro yelling at her to “Put your hands on me again.”

Following the live stream the couple engaged in a scathing fight on Instagram, where Ortiz-Magro posted an Instagram story which read “Note to self, can’t turn a natural born HOE, into a HOUSEWIFE, if you find them in the gutter then leave them in the gutter,” to which Harley responded “Can’t turn a coke head into a father! Yeahhh buddy.”

The verbal abuse between the young parents has been highly public, and on April 30, the couple announced their separation.

Similar to most reality television shows, the “Jersey Shore” franchise thrives off conflict, but the realness of domestic violence is seeping beyond the entertaining confines of screen time.

Ortiz-Magro’s tumultuous relationship with former cast member Samantha “Sammi Sweetheart” Giancola was just as rocky, and their dysfunctional love affair drove the plotline of six seasons. In addition to being a serial cheater during both relationships, Ortiz-Magro admitted in “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” he was still in love with Giancola, making a bad situation even worse.

The reality television star’s confession of love no doubt contributed to the constant fighting with Harley, athough incidents occurred with other women which gave enough fuel to the fire.

Honestly, if his relationships weren’t on television, Ortiz-Magro would be the neighbor you called the police on regularly for screaming at his significant other or crying too loudly about his ex. Could such a situation really be considered entertainment?

Ortiz-Magro, however, isn’t the only cast member facing the tough reality of growing up. The cast members are mostly in their 30s, and the long run of ever-flowing alcohol, partying and broken relationships clearly has taken a toll.

Among such examples is Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, the patriarch of the “Shore” family, who spent much of 2012 in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse and recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion, which he will be sentenced for in September.

Most of the cast have young children, and any one of them calling upon Ortiz-Magro to grow up after his cheating scandal with Harley in “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” feels like an oxymoron.

Amidst the world of partying “Jersey Shore” creates, the dark reality of domestic violence should not be considered entertainment, nor should the addiction, mental health and relationship troubles which closely align with the lifestyle portrayed in the wildly popular MTV series.

Hopefully, for the sake of their daughter and for the millions of fans who observe their relationship, Ortiz-Magro and Harley will learn to be peaceable before her first birthday.

Jamie Lovley, University of Maine

Writer Profile

Jamie Lovley

University of Maine
Journalism and Psychology

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