Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley's Volatile Relationship, from Arrests to Abuse Allegations
On Thursday, the Jersey Shore star filed a battery domestic violence report against Harley after an alleged violent altercation during a New Year’s Eve Party, which prompted their most recent breakup. The news follows a history of ups and downs between the parents to 9-month-old Ariana Sky, including cheating allegations, fiery publicized fights and physical altercations.
Here’s a deep dive into their contentious past.
Becoming Parents Together
In December 2017, Ortiz-Magro announced that he was expecting his first child — a girl! — with Harley three months into their relationship. Harley — also mom to an 12-year-old son named Mason — was six months along in her pregnancy at the time of the announcement.
“Thank you to everyone who has been supportive with advice & encouragement,” Ortiz-Magro, 33, captioned a since-deleted photo of the couple, with the star snuggling close to his girlfriend’s baby bump as they posed outside N.Y.C.’s Rockefeller Center.
“People keep saying becoming a parent is the part of life. I’ve been blessed enough to have SOO MANY best parts of my life #NotSureIfThatMakesSense,” continued the father-to-be. “I couldn’t be more excited to be taking this next step in my life!”
At the Jersey Shore Family Vacation premiere in Los Angeles on March 29, Ortiz-Magro told PEOPLE it was “really exciting” to think about his upcoming journey to fatherhood — but that his hopes started out a little differently.
“I found out I’m having a baby girl and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t want a girl,’ ” he revealed, adding to reporters, “I feel like I’ve done too many seasons of Jersey Shore that I know what girls can be like, and it has not given me a great perspective.”
“But no, I’m actually really excited. I have a lot of younger sisters, and I feel like this girl is going to make me softer,” he continued, adding that he thinks his daughter will “make me more normal and human, and I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”
“When we first started dating in the beginning, we’d joke around saying, ‘What if we had a kid? It’d be crazy and good looking!’ And we’d say ‘What would we name it?’ We joked that we liked Ariana,” the new dad told Us. “When she found out she was pregnant, we looked at each other and we’re like, ‘Guess we’re naming the baby Ariana if it’s a girl.’ Next thing you know, we find out the gender and we’re like, ‘Guess so!’ ”
Weeks after the couple welcomed their daughter, Jersey Shore Family Vacation viewers watched Ortiz-Magro get a little too close for comfort with a woman he brought home from the club in Miami — all while Harley was seven months pregnant back in Las Vegas. It’s unclear how long the two were alone together, but eventually Pauly “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio decided to step in.
“Ronnie — it’s not worth it,” Pauly whispered through the door until Ortiz-Magro emerged with the girl, insisting they were “just talking.”
By the next morning, Ortiz-Magro had begun to regret his actions.
“I’m a bad guy,” he said, crying. “Like right now, I’m just feeling like s—. I’ve been thinking about last night. I made a mistake. I f—ed up, and it’s something I need to tell Jen. I feel like it’s something that needs to be out there and I think that she’ll either respect me for that, or she’s going to leave me for it.”
“I’m just thinking the worst — the end of mine and Jen’s relationship, custody battles … just a bunch of s— that I don’t want to go through and I don’t want to put my kid through,” he continued. “If she is done, it hurts. Because we’ve put so much effort in and for it to just go away so quickly, it’s kind of heartbreaking.”
First Public Feud
At the end of April, Ortiz-Magro took his feud with Harley public when he shared signs of trouble in their relationship, posting an Instagram Story alleging that his girlfriend was keeping “sex videos” with an ex.
“Note to self, can’t turn a natural born HOE, into a HOUSEWIFE, if you find them in the gutter then leave them in the gutter. Not all people can be saved when they are so far gone. All you can say you did ur best and keep it moving,” he wrote.
Harley shot back in her own Instagram story, writing, “Can’t turn a coke head into a father!”
Hours after the bitter feud, Ortiz-Magro apologized for his actions.
“I want to apologize for earlier to my fans, and especially [to Jen],” he wrote. “I acted on my gut and not rationally. I should’ve never acted in such a [manner]. My deepest [apologies].”
An Instagram Live Gets Physical
Days later, Harley went live on Instagram in the middle of an argument with Ortiz-Magro.
“Put your hands on me again,” Ortiz-Magro could be heard saying in the background.
“Seriously?” she replied.
“Put your f—ing hands on me again,” he said. “I dare you. I f—ing dare you.”
Ortiz-Magro then approached Harley and apparently tried to wrestle the phone out of her hand as she yelled at him to stop. A few seconds later, the livestream ended.
“That fight was because [Ronnie] was asking [Jen] to move out so she moved out today per his request. You can see boxes in the video,” a source told PEOPLE.
Hours later, the reality star publicly apologized once again.
“I want to apologize to my family, friends and fans. This is a private matter that should have never been made public. I remain focused on my daughter and she is my number one priority,” he said in a statement shared on social media.
A source told PEOPLE a few days later that the pair was “speaking civilly and trying to make sure Ariana has the best life possible.”
Over a week after their messy split unfolded on social media, the dust appeared to have somewhat settled between the pair, and a source told PEOPLE that communication between Ortiz-Magro and Harley was improving.
“They are trying to work things out and co-parent,” the source said. “They’re splitting time with the baby and just want her to have the best life. He just wants to do the right thing for his daughter.”
As for whether the two could reconcile romantically? The source said “relationship-wise, they’re being cautious” — especially given their explosive history.
“They can be toxic together,” the source said. “When things are good, they’re good, but when they’re bad, they’re really bad. When you put two alphas in a room together, they’re going to clash.”
A source told PEOPLE the infant “was sick this weekend, so it was scary for both of them as new parents.”
“They both dropped everything and came together to care for her,” the insider added.
Breaking Up After Making Up
Later that month, the on-again, off-again couple split again.
“They tried to make it work, but they just set each other off and fight constantly,” a source told PEOPLE.
“It’s better they are apart and they are slowly realizing that. It will be better for their daughter in the end,” said the source.
RELATED VIDEO: Jersey Shore‘s Ronnie Opens Up About Cheating on Sammi — and Her Decision to Skip the Reboot
Heated Arguments and Physical Altercations
In early June, cops were called when the two got into a heated argument at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas while Ortiz-Magro was shooting season 2 of Jersey Shore Family Vacation.
A source told PEOPLE that the latest altercation was sparked after Ortiz-Magro stopped by his house to check on the former couple’s dogs and found Harley’s dog dead in the pool.
“He grabbed his dog and put him in a safe spot,” said the source. “Jen thinks he drowned her dog and went crazy trying to find him. She went on a rampage.”
Added the source: “Ron’s done a lot of stupid s— in his life, but he isn’t in the wrong this time.”
A second source told PEOPLE Ortiz-Magro stopped by the house after Harley “was unresponsive to him.”
“This was when he found the deceased dog,” said the source. “He’s devastated over the dog.”
Harley confirmed to PEOPLE at the time that the argument was over the loss of her dog. She said when she got home, both her dogs were missing; Ortiz-Magro informed her that her dog had drowned in the pool and he had taken to get it cremated. Harley said she was baffled as to how this could have occurred since her dog could swim perfectly.
When the incident unfolded on the show, there was no mention of the dog. Instead, the fight went down after she showed up at his suite, accusing him of calling her a number of profanities via text the night before.
“I don’t want hear your whole f—ing bulls— story,” she screamed. “You text me at 1:30: ‘Slut, wh—, liar, cheater, bitch.’ You know you f—ing did. That’s how you f—ing are. You’re a piece of f—ing s—. You’re a f—ing loser.”
After she lunged at Ortiz-Magro, a security guard intervened. Furious, she ripped off her mic and stormed out, cursing.
“She’s f—ing drunk,” Ortiz-Magro alleged. “I can smell the alcohol on her breath. Where is my kid? Now I’m definitely moving forward with the lawyer.”
The screen then faded to black, with text informing viewers that after Harley left, police arrived to investigate a call for domestic disturbance. While MTV was not permitted to film the investigation, Ortiz-Magro filled his roommates in on what happened the next morning.
“Jen came by and came into the suite, spit in my face, put her hands on me,” he said. “Cops came here and said listen, ‘That’s domestic violence.’ I go, ‘I don’t want to press charges.’ They go, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ In the state of Nevada, the laws have changed so that if they get a call about domestic violence, the state takes over.”
Meanwhile, Harley remained completely unreachable, and Ortiz-Magro began to worry about the whereabouts of their daughter. He called cops to request a welfare check; hours later, he heard back from police, who informed him that his baby was safe and that authorities had gotten in contact with Harley.
“I’d do anything to see my daughter but right now, it’s basically out of my hands,” he said. “At this point, the baby is safe, and I need to just let the lawyer handle it. That’s why I went to him, and that’s why he’s involved.”
“It sucks. Me and Jen always get into altercations. We’ve got to put a stop to this,” he continued. “We need stability for Ariana. If she’s dealing with chaos right now around her, then the rest of her life is going to be chaos, and I don’t want that for my daughter.”
Arrest for Domestic Battery
On June 24, Harley was arrested for domestic battery after an incident in which she allegedly briefly dragged Ortiz-Magro with her car while their infant daughter was in the backseat.
She was released from the Clark County Detention Center the following day after posting the $3,000 bail; the Clark County District Attorney’s Office later confirmed to PEOPLE that there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute her.
A source told PEOPLE at the time that Ortiz-Magro and Harley were at a barbecue with friends on the day of her arrest, where they got into a “verbal fight.” On the drive home, “the fight escalated” and Harley “was pummeling his face,” said the source.
“He was screaming for her to stop the car as she was driving,” said the source. “She hit the median and got a flat tire which caused her to slow down. He begged to get out and opened the door but she continued to pull away while he was getting out and it tore up his entire arm. It’s a mess from road rash and from being dragged along the street as he was caught in the belt.”
The source said Ortiz-Magro had been “trying his best” to make things work with Harley for the sake of their daughter.
“If the kid wasn’t involved, it would be over,” the source said. “He’s constantly trying to make it work for the sake of his daughter.”
When the incident came up on Jersey Shore Family Vacation, Ortiz-Magro brushed it off as an “accident.”
Asked how he ended up outside of the vehicle, Ortiz-Magro said he got out and Harley “just pulled off,” insisting she didn’t try to drag him.
“I got out of the car, she drove off, maybe — I think I grabbed onto the door and I fell,” he said. “It was just a bunch of unfortunate events, bro.”
Weeks after Harley’s arrest, the couple was already back together and celebrated the Fourth of July with their baby in New Jersey.
“They are co-parenting and trying to coexist and be the best parents they can be,” a source told PEOPLE at the time. “They are taking things slow.”
In October, Harley shared a photo of herself kissing Ortiz-Magro on the cheek on her Instagram Story during a trip to N.Y.C. (They were in town to support Sorrentino at his sentencing for tax evasion in Newark, New Jersey.)
“How we are all the time,” she captioned the slide. “We went through a rough time but we are strong and the best we’ve ever been 🙂 I love you and have your back always.”
Later that month, during a Q&A session with her followers on her Instagram Story, Harley blamed the reality show for their relationship drama.
“Honestly the show has been the route [sic] to all our problems,” she wrote, adding that she doesn’t watch it and wants him to quit for the sake of their relationship.
Another Public Feud
Just weeks later, Ortiz-Magro shared a photo of his bruised face and black eye on Instagram, seemingly blaming Harley for it and apologizing for “lying” to his friends to protect her.
Harley responded to the allegation, posting a screenshot of an alleged text conversation between the two and captioning it: “The truth about the black eye lol. Begging me back!!!”
“I fkin love u and ur s—ing on me. I’ll fix it baby,” read one alleged message from Ortiz-Magro. “U want me to post something say [sic] that I reacted out of anger and that it was a double sided incedent [sic] and we are working at making things better so we are never back in that situation again?”
“Get the f out of here you legit make me wanna puke right now,” Harley allegedly responded.
At the time, Harley’s legal representative Michael Cristalli told PEOPLE they “do not know when that photo [of the black eye] was taken or how the injury occurred.”
“The Clark County District Attorney, whose job it is to investigate and prosecute crimes, found on at least two prior occasions that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute a case against her,” Cristalli said. “No crimes have been committed against Ronnie as the prosecuting agencies have determined. We are prepared to initiate legal action against him for this continued public harassment.”
More Abuse Allegations
The couple reconciled days after the black eye drama, but it didn’t last more than a couple of months. They split once again, this time following an alleged violent altercation during a New Year’s Eve Party.
A source told PEOPLE the pair allegedly got into a heated argument while at the Las Vegas strip club Hustler.
“She was mad about something she saw on his phone [and] she freaked out,” said the source, who claimed Harley then allegedly “lunged” at Ortiz-Magro as he tried to leave the club.
“She was restrained by his friend, but when he was walking out she took an ashtray from the table and threw it at his head, busting his nose and lip,” the source said.
After the alleged incident, Harley returned home that night to find her home had allegedly been ransacked. She reportedly told authorities she believes Ortiz-Magro broke in. However, the source close to Ortiz-Magro claimed the reality star never broke in, but “busted a table while he was there because they were fighting.”
Representatives for the two have not responded to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
A spokesperson for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that patrol officers responded to the residence at about 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 1 for a report of a possible burglary and destruction of property. According to the spokesperson, upon arrival, officers learned that the victim had an argument with her boyfriend at a club prior to her getting home, and officers observed that several items in the home were damaged including a television and picture frames.
Officers could not locate any forced entry, and it is unknown if Ortiz-Magro is the suspect, the spokesperson said. The case remains under investigation.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department also confirmed to PEOPLE that Ortiz-Magro had filed a battery domestic violence report against Harley on Thursday. According to the spokesperson, Ortiz-Magro alleged the battery occurred on Dec. 31, 2018 at 11:43 p.m.
On Friday, Us Weekly shared photos allegedly depicting Ortiz-Magro’s injuries, revealing a gash on his forehead and swollen nose, as well as a bloodied lip.