‘Jersey Shore’: The Show’s Top Scandals

As a reality series, Jersey Shore has had plenty of things deemed “scandals” since it aired in 2009. From public arrests to hookups between roommates and divorces, below are some of the most notable scandals in Jersey Shore history. 

'Jersey Shore' scandals
Original Cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ | Photo by Donna Svennevik/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

The roommates’ many arrests

During the early days of Jersey Shore, most of the roommates’ run-ins with the law were alcohol-related. MTV cameras captured many of their arrests, including Ronnie Ortiz-Magro’s 2009 arrest for getting into a fight on the boardwalk. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was arrested for public drunkenness when she couldn’t find the beach in 2010. Then, in 2012, Deena Cortese was arrested for disorderly conduct. 

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When Jersey Shore: Family Vacation debuted, all of the roommates took on the burden of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s tax evasion case. Throughout the show’s three seasons, fans watched Sorrentino get married, attend his court hearing, and serve his time. He was released from prison in September 2019 with cameras waiting outside of the jail to greet him. 

The many bar fights with outsiders

“When drunk people saw the cameras, it was a very hostile experience,” Vinny Guadagnino explained to Vulture. “We almost got into fights every single night we went out.” In one of the most controversial scenes ever aired on television, Polizzi was punched in the face by a drunk bar patron.

Because Jersey Shore is a reality series, the crowds of people in Seaside Heights would try to instigate a fight to get their 15 minutes of fame. Brad Ferro was one of those people. He struck Polizzi after she confronted him for taking the shots a friend had purchased at Beachcomber. The cops arrived quickly after the hit, arresting Ferro for his actions. “[There was] a verbal altercation after which [Brad Ferro] struck [Nicole] in the face,” Seaside Heights Det. Steve Korman told the New York Post. “She sustained an injury to the inside of her mouth due to the punch.” Ferro was arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct.

Ronnie’s rocky relationships 

Ortiz-Magro’s relationship with Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola began during season 1 of Jersey Shore. It quickly became clear to the roommates that the two weren’t meant to be. Still, they pursued their relationship full-force. After an on-again-off-again relationship, the couple finally broke up in 2014. A source close to the couple told E! News that they were back together in 2016, but neither Giancola nor Ortiz-Magro ever confirmed their relationship status. 

After briefly dating Khloé Kardashian’s best friend Malika Haqq, Ortiz-Magro started dating Jen Harley sometime between February and July 2017, according to In Touch Weekly. Unfortunately, this was another on-again-off-again situation for Ortiz-Magro. After welcoming their daughter, Ariana Sky, in April 2018, Ortiz-Magro relationship with Farley hit a few rough patches. The two aren’t together at this time, but they are trying to co-parent peacefully. 

Pauly D’s surprise daughter 

In 2013, Pauly DelVecchio welcomed his daughter, Amabella, into the world. This came as a surprise to DelVecchio after a one-night-stand with Amanda Markert. Despite being nervous about becoming a father, DelVecchio fought for full custody of Amabella. 

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“I’m going to see [Amabella] as much as I possibly can, but there’s a process because of the way that everything happened,” DelVecchio explained to Us Weekly in 2013. Regardless of the custody battle, DelVecchio seems to be enjoying fatherhood. “She’s a mini-me — I already have her on the turntables,” Delvecchio told Live With Kelly and Ryan in April 2019. “I look at her, and I see myself. She’s a Prank War Champion, too! She pranks me,” he said, explaining how his daughter hides his phone. At this time, Amabella is not allowed to watch Jersey Shore, but she knows her dad is famous. 

Jenni’s difficult divorce from Roger

After almost four years of marriage, Jenni “JWoww” Farley filed for divorce from her husband Roger Mathews in September 2018. Initially, the two seemed to keep their divorce private to protect their children, Meilani Alexandra and Greyson Valor. Mathews made headlines when he posted to Instagram claiming Farley called the police on him for no reason. 

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While filming Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, Ortiz-Magro would often interrogate Farley about her divorce. Despite his constant questioning, she kept her separation out of the show because, for her, the ultimate betrayal would be to go public with that information. When Mathews spoke out about the divorce on social media, Farley said it was “the ultimate betrayal” and decided to address it on the reality series.

‘Snooki’ is done with ‘Jersey Shore’ 

When Polizzi announced that she wouldn’t return for another season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, fans and roommates alike were shocked. At first, some of the Jersey Shore roommates didn’t believe Polizzi was truly done with the show. 

HelloGiggles reported that some of Polizzi’s castmates thought she might return to the MTV series. “I just want to move on,” Polizzi said. “I’m not in the mood to do this drama with Angelina anymore, and I just want to be happy and positive, and film fun shows.” Now, with Farley also leaving the show, Polizzi’s return seems even less likely. Fortunately, Polizzi isn’t done with television and wants to pursue a hosting gig in the future. 

The speech at Angelina’s wedding 

Many fans were eager to hear one of the most talked-about wedding speeches in history. MTV cameras captured the drama that unfolded at Pivarnick’s wedding, but more drama occurred after the episode aired. Pivarnick and the rest of the cast took to social media to share their side of the story. Now, it seems like the women of Jersey Shore are on the outs with one another.