Wedding, Party, Prison: How Jersey Shore's Mike Sorrentino Ended Up in This Unusual Situation

The reality show star is getting married—and early next year, he's turning himself in

By Natalie Finn Nov 01, 2018 4:58 PMTags
Mike Sorrentino, The Situation, Lauren PesceDave Kotinsky/Getty Images for MTV

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino may have more gym and laundry in his future than he ever could have dreamed. As for tanning...

It depends on how much time he gets to spend outside.

The Jersey Shore star, who returned to the seminal MTV series this year with almost all the rest of his O.G. roommates, has an actual situation on his hands—though at least the end is finally in sight.

When he was sentenced to eight months in prison in October, it was the culmination of a years-long legal ordeal that began all the way back in 2014, when he and his brother Marc Sorrentino were indicted on tax evasion charges.

Your calendar doesn't deceive you: It's now 2018. And prison still doesn't start till January.

But happily for Sorrentino, he hasn't been wasting time on the outside or otherwise letting this case stop him from living his life. In fact, before he turns himself in, he's got a wedding to attend.

Jersey Shore Romance Report

The reality-TV charmer is marrying the love of his life, fashion blogger Lauren Pesce, on Nov. 1. Family and friends, including the Jersey Shore crew, are all due at the wedding tonight in New Jersey.

"Today I marry my best friend , My College Sweetheart, My everything," Sorrentino heralded the day on Instagram this morning. "Together as a team we can accomplish anything. I am so grateful that you are by my side. I promise to be my best self everyday & make you proud to call yourself Mrs. Sorrentino. Love you with all my heart. Here's to our big day."

Pesce echoed the sentiment, writing, "Happy wedding day honeys! Today I marry my best friend and soul mate, without you I wouldn't be whole. I love you forever Michael Paul ♥ now it's baby making time! @mikethesituation#TheHitchuation #GymTanLaurens."

The couple had already dated for four years before he became part of the global phenomenon that was—and remains—Jersey Shore, which first premiered in 2009.

The Situation was, thankfully, single when he embarked on that life-changing journey, though his GTL-promoting, oft-drunken antics didn't exactly make his ex too concerned that she had let "the one" get away.

Jersey Shore Romance Report

"I definitely didn't follow some of the crazy stuff going on in Jersey Shore," Pesce told Us Weekly in 2015. "I didn't like a lot of the things he did, but we weren't together! I was just glad he had found success."

"We had gone our separate ways," Pesce recalled, "but we parted on good terms and always kept in touch. I went into the work world and he went into fitness modeling and then Jersey Shore. I was nothing but happy for him. We were on our own different paths in life. Timing is everything—we circled back to each other about two years ago and we kind of picked back up where we left off."

In the meantime, Mike was busy sorting himself out. Right before the final episode of Jersey Shore's penultimate season aired in March 2012, Sorrentino revealed via social media that he was seeking treatment for a prescription medication addiction. "I have spent the past several weeks getting treatment for this problem and recuperating from my work and appearance schedule," he wrote. "I appreciate my fans support and love you guys."

The show signed off with its sixth and seemingly final season that December.

As Pesce said, they reconnected in 2013—at a Jersey gym, naturally, because it's good to share a hobby with a potential life mate—and have been for the most part happy together ever since.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Their foray into on-camera counseling in 2015, on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, came after Mike and Mark were charged with federal tax evasion for allegedly failing to pay taxes on $8.9 million in earnings. (On the one hand, terribly stupid move. And on the other, wow, $8.9 million.)

The indictment further alleged that the brothers claimed more than $5,104,000 in "false" or "inflated" business expenses, which included luxury cars, high-end clothes and "personal grooming expenses."

Bail was set at $250,000 apiece and each was facing significant prison time if convicted.

Also in 2015, Sorrentino cracked some ribs in a gym malfunction and was prescribed painkillers, which sent him spiraling again.

"Your emotions are blocked," he told People last year. "So you really ruin relationships with everyone in your life."

Jersey Shore Cast: Then and Now

His relationship with Pesce suffered, and they took the opportunity to air their grievances and feed their fans' desire to know more at the same time. 

"It really helped us out and it still helps us out to this day," Sorrentino told People about their time on the VH1 show. "You sort of learn how other people communicate, and they're coming from a different perception or a different view, and you have to value that view and listen to respond."

"We've been through a lot of things," Sorrentino told Us in 2015. "One minute you're going to get breakfast and then you look down and you're on the cover of the [New YorkPost. "There's a lot of curveballs been thrown our way in the last year or so, and that can put stress on a relationship."

Wisely for Sorrentino, he has credited Pesce for being infinitely patient and strong. And for not letting a massive screw-up get in the way of what will hopefully be forever, once Mike has served his time.


"She's been by my side from day one, man," a smiling, sober Sorrentino told E! News in May 2017. "She is my A-1 from day one—and I think it's time" to get engaged. "I want to progress in my life, I want to have a family, and maybe a Little Situation one day, you know. Or soon! I'm thinking this year is the year for me."

"She's my rock, my best friend," he continued, "and like I said, it's just a natural progression, man. I was crazy in my 20s, I matured, I learned from my mistakes. Maybe we'll have [another] Jersey Shore wedding, who knows."

While they wait for pint-size Situations, they're dog-parents to their beloved golden retriever Moses, whom they adopted together when he was a puppy.

2017 wasn't quite their year, but the progression did progress, and by the time Sorrentino appeared in court in January to plead guilty to one count of tax evasion, he was gearing up to pop the question.

Marc Sorrentino, meanwhile, pleaded to one count of aiding in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return

"What the defendants admitted to today, quite simply, is tantamount to stealing money from their fellow taxpayers," U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a statement after the pleas were entered. "All of us are required by law to pay our fair share of taxes. Celebrity status does not provide a free pass from this obligation."

Sentencing was set for April 25, heightening the urgency to put a ring on it. Which he did.

"I fell in love with you because you loved me when I could've even love myself," Sorrentino said as he proposed, the romantic moment ultimately airing on Jersey Shore Family Vacation in June.

"When I met Mike, I met him as a person and not as a celebrity," Pesce told People after saying yes. "So I've always known him at his core—him being the most giving and loving family-type of guy in his soul. And through any kind of ups and downs, any kind of darkness that he went through, I always knew that person inside was so important and worth fighting for. I always wanted him to see how special he is so that he would be willing to fight for himself."

"Me and Lauren were going to wait until after the case because there's a lot of obstacles and challenges for us on a weekly or monthly basis, but we decided this is a positive thing, and we want to move forward with that," Sorrentino told TooFab back in May, explaining why it was important for them to seize the day. 

"I wasn't going to allow circumstances to define me; I was going to let them refine me and make me better, so that's when I decided I was definitely going to do this engagement with the help of God and MTV, and we made it happen."


Elder Ordonez /

And since he actually wasn't sentenced until October, they had some time to enjoy being engaged.

Jennifer "JWoww" FarleyNicole "Snooki" PolizziVinny Guadagnino and Angelina Pivarnick and her fiancé Chris Larangeira were among the revelers at a wedding shower for the couple in September, and you can bet the crew is going all out for tonight's nuptials.

"It was such an amazing day celebrating our love for each other with all of our closest families and friends!" the betrothed couple shared with E! News afterward. "You felt the love in the room. We are excited to see what the future holds and can't wait to share with our family, friends and fans."

Snooki was in on the bridal dress shopping, and she said on The Jenny McCarthy Show that her daughter Giovanna and JWoww's daughter Meilani would be flower girls.

After the I-dos, however, with Sorrentino's turn-in date looming, he and Pesce are going to put off a big honeymoon for now, a source told E! News. They at least won't be leaving New Jersey.

According to court papers filed last month, Mike must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons no sooner than Jan. 15, 2019—which means, at least, that the newlyweds will get to enjoy their first holiday season and New Year's Eve as a married couple together. 

After the sentencing hearing last month, Pesce wrote on Instagram, "Thank you for all of your messages of love & support. We are happy to put an end to this chapter and excited to move forward in our future."

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