Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is headed back to television for the upcoming revival season of Jersey Shore Family Vacation, but that doesn’t mean he’s the same person fans remember from his wild party days on the show’s original run.
ET’s Katie Krause caught up with the 35-year-old reality star at the show’s premiere party at Hyde Sunset in Los Angeles on Thursday, and he opened up about getting sober and his attempts to bring his life together over the last two years.
“[I’m] 28 months sober, I’m very proud, it’s one of my finest accomplishments and it was a huge challenge,” Sorrentino admitted. “Its a ‘one day at a time’ thing and [I’m] just showing people that it’s very possible.”
While he’s worked hard to fight his addictions, being brought back into a world of drinking and craziness could have been a real problem for many recovering alcoholics. However, Sorrentino said he made sure to just focus on his own health, and not concern himself with everyone else while filming in the Jersey Shore house.
“The mindset was coming from a grateful standpoint, a blessed standpoint,” he explained. “Stay in your lane and run your own race. They could be drinking, they could be having fun, but that’s not my race, because if I look over to the person next to me, guess what? I’m going to trip over my own feet and you’re going to win the race and The Situation is not going to let that happen.”
“I challenged myself to have fun, dance, and be at a club till 5 am and show people it’s possible to have fun,” he added. “And you’ll see, because The Situation turns up more than some people do when they’re even drinking.”
As Sorrentino has dedicated himself to staying clean and healthy, his love life has also flourished with girlfriend Lauren Pesce at his side. The reality star — who has been very open in the past about the role she played him helping him through his darkest times — was effusive about his lady love.
“Definitely, she is the one, for sure,” Sorrentino shared. “She’s been through good times and bad times, the ups and downs, she saw me at my worst and she deserves me at my best.”
However, there’s still a tough road ahead for Sorrentino, who pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion in January, alongside his brother, Marc Sorrentino. The reality star could face a sentence of five years in prison when his sentencing hearing occurs on April 25.
Until then, it appears that Sorrentino’s legal troubles will actually play a part of the upcoming season of Jersey Shore, at least to an extent.
“I discussed it [on the show] to the best of my ability,” he said. “You want to have respect for the system, the judge, and things like that so I did my best to better myself, become better and not bitter.”
“I continue to better myself and I’m like, ‘How can I continue to better myself?’ and I’m like, ‘You know what, let me help others,'” shared Sorrentino, who now serves as the director of public outreach for a rehab facility in New Jersey and conducts speaking events to engage with people who are struggling with addiction. “So I’m trying my best to continue to take on challenges and continue to move forward.”
Ultimately, Sorrentino says he’s “at peace” with him impending sentencing, no matter the outcome, and he’s looking forward to the new season of Jersey Shore as an opportunity to reintroduce himself to the public.
“I just want people to see the new Situation! The new and improved Situation,” he explained. “And you’ll be surprised what you see.”
Jersey Shore Family Vacation premieres April 5 on MTV.
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