Ronnie Ortiz-Magro Reveals He Has Full Custody of Daughter Ariana, Says Dad Life Is 'Hard Work'

·2-min read

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro made his first appearance on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation in over a year, sharing an update on his life today

Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty
Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro popped into Jersey Shore: Family Vacation with a major update for fans.

Nearly two years after leaving the reality series to focus on his mental health, the 37-year-old returned for a surprise appearance on Thursday's episode, where he talked about how he is focused on 4-year-old daughter Ariana Sky.

"I feel like I needed a change of scenery and just a change of pace in my life," Ortiz-Magro said of his decision to walk away from the show during the March 23 episode. "I've decided to move from Los Angeles to Miami and open up a new business. It's a sneaker store called SneakerClinic."

Ortiz-Magro then revealed that he has full custody of his little girl — who turns 5 next month —which is "a lot of hard work."

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"It's a lot of hard work, but she keeps me balanced," he explained. "She calms my world. I didn't have the perfect situation with her mother, but she's turned out perfect. She's so sweet and so polite."

While working on his sobriety and focusing on family, Ortiz-Magro is frank about the "bad situation" he was previously in.

"I almost lost everything I built. I almost lost my daughter," he said. "I was in treatment for eight or nine months, but it helped me grow and it made me a stronger person."

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro/ instagram
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro/ instagram

Ortiz-Magro shares his daughter with ex Jen Harley. In court filings obtained by the U.S. Sun, the former reality star has primary physical custody of Ariana, who lives with him during the school year.

"During the school year, the mother will have custody every second, third, fourth and fifth weekend from Friday at 6 pm until Sunday at 6 pm," the judge ruled, adding, "Parents have joint legal custody and in the event of a disagreement father shall have tiebreaker authority after making a good faith effort to meet and confer."

The former couple will exchange their daughter every two weeks over the summer, with both Ortiz-Magro and Harley agreeing to be sober during their respective time with their daughter.

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on MTV.

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