Snooki’s days as a Jersey Shore cast member are coming to an end.
Ten years after the MTV reality show debuted featuring the gym-tan-laundry gang, the pint-sized star (real name: Nicole Polizzi) says she’s “retiring” from the series, which now plays out on the spin-off Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
"So here comes my breaking news,” the 32-year-old said on Friday’s episode of her podcast It's Happening with Snooki & Joey. “You guys — I love you so much and don't hate me for my decision, but I have to do what's best for me at the moment, and I am retiring from Jersey Shore. I am not coming back to Jersey Shore for a Season 4 if there is one."
She went on to say there are several reasons why she came to this conclusion, including missing her kids and — shocker — being tired of nonstop partying.
“I just can’t do it anymore. Leaving my kids to film is really, really hard on me,” said Polizzi, who is mom to Lorenzo, 7, Giovanna, 5, and Angelo, 6 months, with husband Jionni LaValle.
She said while making the last season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, she tried to “quit every single day” because “I just hate being away from the kids.” And also, “I don’t like partying three days in a row. It’s just not my life anymore. I just want to be home with the kids. I don’t mind here and there going to a dinner or whatever, but it’s just really hard for me to leave the kids and film the show.”
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Polizzi went on to say she’s tired of the show “drama” and “cattiness.” While it started out “all in good fun,” lately it’s shifted to everything being too “serious,” she said. And she doesn’t like the way she’s being portrayed on the show.
“I’m not leaving my kids days on end to film this show when that’s the result,” she said. “I just don’t like the turnout of it and I don’t like the person I’m being portrayed as. This is getting a little too much. At 32 years old and with three kids, if I’m doing a reality show I want it to be fun and light-hearted, and just lately it’s not like that and the show is getting so dramatic.”
Polizzi said on top of not liking the storyline, she and her children have been getting death threats as a result of the “this frickin’ reality show that’s not even that serious.”
She continued, “People take it too seriously to where I’m getting death threats with the kids and my store, people want to picket it and boycott it and leaving reviews that I have bugs in my store. It’s just a lot and not something I signed up for with this show.”
Polizzi told her “roomies” that she didn’t find the show fun anymore and while they tried to talk her into staying, she said she’s sticking with her decision. But she loves them to death and they know that. She added that she also loves MTV.
Polizzi went on to make clear that she’s “not saying goodbye” to the limelight. She’ll continue being a reality TV star, but just not on Jersey Shore and thanked fans for “always watching us being train wrecks and being crazy.”
Snooki with her bouffant, heavy makeup and golden glow was the breakout “meatball” on the show when it debuted in 2009. Fans enjoyed her over-the-top escapades with her fist-pumping crew, including BFF Jenni “JWoww” Farley. In 2010, the committed party animal was arrested for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct, which played out on the show.
She and Farley went on to appear in a spin-off, Snooki & Jwoww, from 2012 to 2015. It showed a somewhat more subdued Snooki, who became pregnant with her first child and wasn’t up for the typical hard-partying lifestyle of the rest of the gang.
Polizzi married LaValle in 2014 and appeared on several other reality shows, including Dancing With the Stars and The New Celebrity Apprentice. But the gang reunited in 2018 for Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, which is in its third season. The second half of which will air in 2020.
The cast members have had pretty much endless drama during their time in the spotlight. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino did time in federal prison tax evasion. Ronnie Ortiz-Magro has a domestic violence case against him pending related to the mother of his daughter. Farley’s divorce from Roger Mathews involved restraining orders and the police.
Farley showed her support for Polizzi after her announcement on Friday, calling Snooki her “ride or die.”
Polizzi’s reality TV star career has been quite lucrative. She has her own clothing and beauty lines and has written books. Last year, People magazine estimated her net worth at $4 million.
She told Forbes in 2015, that her Jersey Shore stardom “has definitely given me opportunities that I would never have gotten if I wasn't on TV. It has allowed me to have my own brand and businesses, and also be fortunate enough to take care of my entire family.”
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