Long gone are the days of GTL — Mike Sorrentino is dealing with a completely different situation.
After a long battle with prescription drug abuse that involved two stints in rehab, the 34-year-old former reality star of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” told Fox News that he’s enjoying his new sober life beyond Seaside Heights.
“Things are great,” said Sorrentino. “When it comes to my recovery — actually next week — I’ll be 18 months clean. And I go to 12-step meetings on a weekly basis along with gym and tan. And that’s my schedule now — gym, tan, meeting. So everything’s working out great and I just really changed my whole life at this particular point.”
Still, he had other issues to face that would be scrutinized by cameras. Sorrentino, along with his brothers Frank Jr. and Marc, decided to join a spinoff of WE tv’s “Marriage Boot Camp” where they and three other stars (Farrah Abraham, Kendra Wilkinson and Chad “Ochocinco" Johnson) would unveil their toxic relationships with their families as they undergo counseling with the help of two therapists.
While some critics may question the legitimacy of seeking therapy on television, for Sorrentino, it was a no-brainer.
“I’ll be honest, I love to be in front of the camera,” he explained. “I’ve been dreaming to be on TV since I was little. And I’ve been really blessed to continue to do TV since 2009 so it’s been almost nine years… So I’m just excited and grateful to continue doing what I love.”
Sorrentino, who previously participated in the show back in 2015 with his girlfriend, college sweetheart Lauren Pesce, said that the sessions with the counselors were beneficial in helping him nurture his relationships with loved ones, all while feeling perfectly at ease with an audience watching.
“You know, it’s a little tricky sometimes when you bring a camera into it,” he said. “I was actually excited to bring my brothers on to ‘Family Boot Camp’ because I have done this experience before with my girlfriend Lauren… and it really worked out for us. You know, we’re in a really good place today, so I was eager to see how [my brothers] would react…My family responded very well [to the show]. They were very excited to see my brothers go on a TV show and be themselves. And you know, try to make our relationship better, that’s really the goal at the end of the day.”
And the brothers have had their share of troubles, which has impacted their relationship over the years. In 2014, TMZ reported that Sorrentino was arrested after he reportedly got into a fist fight with Frank in a tanning salon they co-owned. Currently, the "Jersey Shore" star and Marc are both facing alleged tax evasion charges in federal court.
Despite the setbacks, the famous sibling is feeling optimistic of what’s to come.
“Well, my particular legal situation is definitely a situation,” he said. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with… We’ve been dealing with it for almost four years. I believe that at the end of the day, it will hopefully be resolved by the end of the year positively.”
And Sorrentino does have plenty of reasons to hope for a brighter future. Not only has his relationship with the brothers improved after appearing on the show, but he’s looking forward to taking on another role.
“That’s actually a really good situation,” he beamed when asked about his romance with Pesce. “[With] my personal life, I’d like to really move forward in that area. I’m in my early 30s right now. I’d like to get engage and maybe have a little situation of our own soon. So things are going really well… I’m planning by the end of the year to move forward with an engagement and maybe a kid.”
There’s also talks of a possible return to “Jersey Shore,” which ended back in 2012.
“You know, I’ve been hearing rumors too about a possible reunion or possible reboot,” he said. “Nothing has really happened yet. So I guess it’s really just rumors right now. But maybe going forward in this particular year or next year something’s going to happen. I believe something will happen.”
Still, he’s been reconnecting with his former crew.
“I just started to open up the lines of communication with some of the other cast members,” explained Sorrentino. “If [there’s] anyone I’ve been speaking to the most is probably Jenni [JWoww]… Recently, I’ve been chatting with her. I also did chat with Sammi [Sweetheart] and a little bit [with] Snooki. It was Sammi’s birthday in the last couple of months and we chatted about that.”
No matter what the upcoming months will bring for Sorrentino, he isn’t worried about being treated unfairly while in the spotlight.
“I just figure that the media is the media,” he explained. “At the end of the day… not everyone is going to like you. And you know, you have to understand that. People are going to talk about you, people are going to lie about you. And if you’re not ready for that, then you’re not ready for success.”
“Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition” airs on Fridays on WE tv.