Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola isn’t having second thoughts about skipping the Jersey Shore reboot
“She is doing great and building a house with her boyfriend and happy in her relationship,” Deena Cortese tells PEOPLE at the Jersey Shore and Emmy/ FYC event at Little Dom’s restaurant in Los Angeles on Friday.
Cortese — who sees Giancola, 31, frequently because the reality stars live close to each other — adds, “I think she is glad she made the decision not to come back.”
Giancola is currently dating boyfriend Christian Biscardi.
Ahead of the Jersey Shore Family Vacation’s premiere in April, Giancola explained that she chose “not to join the show this season” to try and “avoid potentially toxic situations,” presumably referring to her ex-boyfriend, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro.
“I am at a completely different place in my life right now focusing on my business and my relationship,” she wrote. “I am not the same as I was when I was 22. At 31, I am extremely happy in every aspect of my life and want to avoid potentially awkward situations.”
Giancola and Ortiz-Magro’s tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship lasted eight years, three of which were captured on the original run of Jersey Shore from 2009-12.
While Ortiz-Magro previously told PEOPLE that “it sucked” not having Giancola around for the reboot, he admitted that not having his ex around wasn’t all bad.
“On the one hand, it sucked because we all started this together so we wanted to end it together,” he says. “But at the same time, it worked out better for me because it was just less drama for the house. Less fighting and bickering. Who really wants to live in a house with their ex? That’s just the most uncomfortable feeling in the world.”
“She’s chosen a path in her life and she closed the door on Jersey Shore,” he added. “That was one chapter in her life, and now she’s opened up another one, and she has a boyfriend and she’s really happy and that’s a decision that she made. And us as a family and as castmates and friends that have known her for so long, we’re just going to support whatever she does.”