The Jersey Shore cast sticks together through thick and thin.
Stopping by PEOPLE Now ahead of Thursday’s season 2 premiere of Family Vacation, the MTV stars opened up about Ronnie Ortiz-Magro‘s tumultuous relationship with Jen Harley. (The on-again, off-again couple welcomed a daughter, baby Ariana Sky, in April, but in the months that followed made headlines for multiple heated altercations in Las Vegas, some of which will unfold on the show.)
“You’re going to see me giving him a little bit of tough love in the first couple of episodes,” said Jenni “JWoww” Farley. “It just stems from, honestly, love. We love him, we want the best for him. Sometimes when people are in it, they don’t realize what it’s like looking from the outside in. You’ve kind of got to wake that person up.”
“It was hard on us, too,” said Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. “Because we were trying to support him in this difficult situation that he was in and at certain times we didn’t know what to do.”
“We still wanted to enjoy our vacation, too, you know!” quipped Pauly “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio. “But what’s dope about our show is people go through what he’s going through and you get to actually live it, see it, breathe it with us.”
“You get to see what that’s actually like, and that’s what cool,” he continued. “You tune in and see how we handle it, how he handles it, how we help him and how we’re there for our brother.”
And at the end of the day, Ortiz-Magro is focused on fatherhood.
“He’s a great dad, he’s a great person, he has a good heart,” said Deena Cortese. “He has so many sisters, he grew up with [them], he kind of took care of [them] — I think that he’s going to be an amazing father.”
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On Tuesday, Ortiz-Magro revealed why he’s been absent from the press rounds promoting the return of the show this week: He’s spending all of his time with his baby girl.
“Everyone keeps asking where I’ve been, why wasn’t I at the #VMAs or other #JSFV events with my lovely cast mates,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’ve chosen to take some time off to be a father to my beautiful daughter. I’ve got to experience everything in my life thankfully because of #JS & #MyFans. There’s nothing that can replace the feeling of being a father.”
“Thank you for all the love & support and no I have not quit #JS,” he clarified. “I am just choosing to take time so I can watch my daughter grow and be a part of a life not just in her life and be an amazing father. [I’d] rather be there for her in person than have to watch her grow through text messages & IG posts. I can give her everything in the world but if I can’t give her a relationship or a bond than all of this is for nothing at the end of the day.”
The two-hour season 2 premiere of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.