Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is loving life as a free man. The 37-year-old reality TV star has been out of prison for a little over a week, and he couldn’t be happier to be back with his wife Lauren and able to spend time with his family and friends.
“Oh my God, to be a free man, to be honest with you, it’s awesome,” Sorrentino told Entertainment Tonight in his first interview since his release. “It’s fantastic. I have my beautiful wife next to me. I’m healthy, I’m sober, back at work with my best friends on the No. 1 show on MTV and just living the dream.”
Prison ‘is not like the movies’ says the ‘Jersey Shore’ star
Sorrentino served his eight-month sentence for tax evasion at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York. The Jersey Shore star’s fellow inmates included Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen and Fyre Festival fraudster Billy McFarland. But despite the presence of a few other famous felons, Sorrentino explained that “The real situation in prison is not like the movies.”
The reformed partier went on to explain that if you don’t keep busy while behind bars, it’s easy to succumb to anxiety and depression, something he saw happen to some other inmates. “I saw them literally staring at the wall, not doing anything,” he recalled.
To keep his spirits up, Sorrentino focused on working out — often multiple times a day — and eating as healthy as possible. While he said prison food was “not good,” he added that “the guys in there liked me,” which meant he was able to sometimes get extra salad and vegetables. Thanks to a combination of exercise and watching his diet, he was able to lose 35 pounds and slim down to his college weight.
He got a special message from this ‘Jersey Shore’ cast member
Staying in close contact with loved ones also helped Sorrentino stay positive. His wife Lauren visited every week, and the two spoke on the phone and emailed daily.
His Jersey Shore castmates also visited him in prison and sent messages of support. Most communicated via email, but the Sitch revealed that Ronnie Ortiz-Magro sent a hand-written letter. Receiving the note from his friend was an “emotional” experience, he said.
Sorrentino says he’d chose prison over recovery
Sorrentino battled addictions to drugs and alcohol before getting sober several years ago with the help of his future wife. Both he and Lauren agree that going through that experience was “way harder” than his time in prison.
“I would choose prison over recovery,” Sorrentino said.
The MTV personality also said he looked inward during his time behind bars, reading the Bible and focusing on his spirituality. While being locked up wasn’t fun, he said he knew there was a bright future waiting for him when he got out.
“It’s a very uncomfortable situation from start to finish [but] it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “I didn’t feel sorry for myself.”
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