Ronnie Ortiz-Magro first came to fame as one of the original cast members of MTV’s Jersey Shore. Since then, he’s become as well known for his relationships as he has for his TV appearances. Currently riding the storm of a domestic abuse case involving his ex-girlfriend Jen Harley, the beleaguered star’s facing an uncertain future. Find out more with these 10 fast facts.
1. Ron Ron Juice
When Jersey Shore came to an end in 2012, you have to wonder what was going through the minds of the cast. After spending six seasons being paid for binge drinking, hooking up, getting arrested, and muscle flexing, how were they expected to make ends meet in the real world? For Ronnie, the options were simple — go back to working in real estate with his dad (his pre-fame occupation) or milk the last drops of his celebrity by launching Ron Ron juice, the boozy, watermelon-based cocktail he’d spent the last few years perfecting. Well, there was never any real competition, was there…. although, despite his big talk of packaging it up and selling it through Walmart and CVS, come 2020, we’re still waiting for a taste.
2. Come at Me Bro
Who wouldn’t want some of Ronnie’s wittiest phrases splashed across their chests? Most people apparently. Following his rise to fame on Jersey Shore, Ronnie launched Smush Brand Apparel, a line of t-shirts and sweats emblazoned with catchy slogans like “Come at Me Bro” and “GTS: Gym Tan Smush.” “Designing Smush Brand apparel clothing line is another way to express my artistic side,” he said at the time. The brand, somewhat predictably, failed to set the fashion world on fire.
3. Open for Business
Following the launch of Smush Brand Apparel, Ronnie decided to take his next steps in fashion with the own retail business. Ronnie’s Shore Store opened for business in 2012, drawing huge crowds to its launch at 1084 Morris Park Avenue. Stocking everything a partygoer would need to get them through the night (clothes-wise, at least) along with Ronnie’s own Smush Brand Apparel, it was a Shore fire thing. Until it went out of business.
4. Up in Smoke
After abandoning his plans to make it in fashion, Ronnie set his sights on a new venture- cannabis. “I was always a smoker more than a drinker. It did wonders for me, especially with my anxiety,” he told Inked Mag. “And I was a productive pothead. I would smoke before the gym, I would smoke before talk shows and nobody ever knew.” After deciding to see if he could make his hobby pay, Ronnie went into partnership Shea Alderete from Gen-X Biotech and Packwood. “A lot of celebrities say they’re involved in [the cannabis industry], but put a plant in front of them and they don’t know what to do,” he boasted.
5. Daddy’s Princess
Ronnie’s first child with Jen Harley, Ariana Sky Magro, was born in April 2018. Claiming the birth of his daughter was a turning point, Ronnie has called his daughter his “best friend”, telling Inked Mag.“I was the first person she saw, I was the first to hold her. She’s got me wrapped around her finger and she’s only 10 months old. I can only imagine the next few years. She’s going to be 15-years old [saying] ‘What’s your Venmo password?’”
6. Ronnie and Sammi
Before Ronnie and Jen, there was Ronnie and Sammi. The couple, who met on Jersey Shore, were together, on and off, for 8 years, making it one of Ronnie’s longest relationships to date. The two broke off after Ronnie, who felt pressured by Sammi’s desire to get married, cheated. “She gave me a timeline. She said ‘I want to get married in six months’,” he told Fox News. “I got cold feet. I wanted to do the right thing, but I didn’t do it. I ended up cheating. I blew it.”
7. Ronnie and Jen
Almost from the moment they got together, Ronnie and Jen Harley’s relationship was volatile. In July 2019, Ronnie entered a battery charge against Jen after accusing her of throwing an ashtray at him. The charges were later dropped, and the pair reunited. By September, it was all over again, with Jen leaving the family home after rumors began circulating that Ronnie had been spotted with a “mystery woman”.
8. The Kidnapping Case
Jen and Ronnie’s history of domestic disharmony took a turn for the worse in October 2019. Following an alleged altercation with Jen, Ronnie was arrested on a kidnapping charge. The charge was later dropped, only to be replaced with ones for domestic violence, brandishing a weapon, resisting arrest (he was eventually brought down with ‘minor force’, a taser, and a gurney), child endangerment, and making criminal threats. Ronnie was ordered to stay away from both Harley and, for a period, his daughter, by court order.
9. A History of Getting Physical
Jen isn’t the first of Ronnie’s girlfriend to accuse him of getting heavy-handed. For a brief period between 2016 and 2017, Ronnie dated actress Malika Haqq. After the relationship ended, Maliq gave fans an insight into their love life. “Ronnie and I are truly opposites,” she shared during an interview with People. “His language is very aggressive. It’s verbally aggressive, it’s physically aggressive. It’s the way he expresses himself.”
10. Roger to the Defense
After Ronnie’s kidnapping charge came to light, there was one man who stood by him. Although giving who that man was (Jenni “JWoww” Farley’s ex, Roger Matthews) and given his own history of unsavory domestics (after the couple split, Farley felt obliged to take out a refraining order), it probably didn’t help the public’s perception. “Two people can be good but still be bad for each other and bring out the worst in each other,” Mathews told US Weekly. “We’re all flawed but time and self-growth can redeem almost any of us.” Whatever you say, Rog.