Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino chronicles his tumultuous journey to sobriety in a whole new way.
The 41 year old Jersey Shore star sat down with ET’s Rachel Smith at his New Jersey home, where he opened up about his bad habits and how much money he spent to enable them. Sorrentino says things got so out of hand due to his addiction to painkillers that he even smuggled them during filming.
While publicly addressed in the years that followed, Sorrentino secretly battled substance abuse while appearing on TV and served eight months in prison in 2019 for tax evasion. The longtime reality star has since turned his life around, completing his prison sentence, celebrating eight years of sobriety, reuniting with his castmates on the revival series, Jersey Shore: Family Vacationand marry his own college sweetheart Lauren, in 2018.
Now at this point in his life, Sorrentino, who celebrates eight years of sobriety in December, reveals his harrowing past in a new and moving memoir: Reality Check: Making the Best of the Situation – How I Overcame Addiction, Loss, and Incarcerationfrom December 19.
Like the expectant father of three children looks back on his trials and tribulations with ET, he recalls the desperate measures he almost resorted to when funds were low.
Sorrentino confesses that he kept a sex tape in his office as a potential “insurance policy” in case he ever found himself low on money. He admits that he sought advice from his team about releasing the tape to the public for the right price.
“There was one. I think it was destroyed… The video has not been released [because] the offers were not good enough,” Sorrentino reveals. “They were a combination of revenue from sales or streams. It wasn’t as big of a down payment as I wanted. It wasn’t Jersey Shore money, so I wasn’t going to put myself out there like that.”
The Family holiday star noted that he wanted to be completely candid with his readers, adding, “I was down on my luck, and I wanted to soften the fall, and there was that emergency sex tape. I had to tell my mom and Lauren, ‘I I need to do this, it’s been here for years.’ And we started that journey to sell it, but we decided not to.”
While the experience was certainly humbling for Sorrentino, it was not his lowest.
“When I finally went to rehab in 2015, that was definitely my lowest point, but my lowest was about the day before, when I did something I never thought I would do,” he says. “I ended up trying a drug that I never thought I would try. A drug that kills most people. A drug that most people don’t come back from. A drug that I told myself I would never do, which I thought was so.” dirty. It was heroin.”
says Sorrentino he was overcome with disappointment after trying heroin. At that point he was already addicted to oxycodone, he says, “but I was desperate and in that hole.”
‘I was depressed and [with] fear and self-doubt,” he adds. “I had given up on myself. I just wanted to get out of that space mentally.”
As if addiction didn’t already have a firm grip on him, fame and money – after the immense success of MTV’s Jersey Shore – aggravated the problem. So much so that Sorrentino says he spent as much as $500,000 to fuel his drug addiction.
“It was like gasoline on fire,” he recalls, adding that he was “constantly” self-medicating with one drug after another.
“I loved everything. I always had everything with me in my Louis Vuitton bag. Everything – from a few hundred Roxicet, which is 30 milligrams of oxycodone, then I would probably have with me 150 Percocets, which is 10 milligrams of oxycodone” , he tells ET. “Then I would have about 100 Xanax, 100 Valium, and if I wasn’t traveling by plane, I might also have some weed and cocaine, because I knew if I was traveling by plane it wouldn’t be a good idea would be.” idea of trying to go through security with cocaine and weed on you.”
For example, while participating in season 11 of Dancing with the starssays Sorrentino, “I was always high.” Not only on that show, but also when he appeared on talk shows. He says it was difficult to hide his addiction from counselors and the Jersey Shore production.
“It was extremely difficult. It took all my time to get MTV and production to agree on how I was going to smuggle drugs in for a season,” he says. ‘And of course it would also differ per location. If it was Miami, if it was Italy.”
He would go to any lengths to ‘smuggle’ these drugs. He had to, he says, because he “misjudged” his “hunger” and “dependence” on these drugs. He says each season was different in terms of the way he smuggled drugs.
That he has been able to maintain this drug addiction is, as he says, “insanity.”
“I mean, when the lawyers said to me, ‘You spent about half a million on cocaine and oxycodone,’ I thought, ‘Man, that sure sounds good,’ because it was true,” he says. “I got to the point in my life where I couldn’t hide it anymore. I got to the point where I had to do something different, and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Once I started getting sober , I really turned everything around and did everything differently.”
Now Sorrentino and Lauren are parents of two children, son Romeo and daughter MiaAnd his are expecting their third baby in March 2024.
The best part of his sobriety? “Probably every day when my family, my wife and my kids have a group hug,” he tells ET, “and the smiles that I see, it’s just all worth it — all the pain, all the struggle, all the sacrifice — it It’s all worth it.”
Sorrentino’s memoirs, Reality Check: Making the Best of the Situation – How I Overcame Addiction, Loss, and Incarcerationis available from December 19.
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