The Jersey Shore star tells PEOPLE her main priority is protecting her two children, daughter Meilani, 4, and son Greyson, 2

By Jodi Guglielmi Aurelie Corinthios
February 01, 2019 12:03 PM

Jenni “JWoww” Farley just wants to move on.

In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, the Jersey Shore star explains why she decided to speak out against her estranged husband Roger Mathews amid their ongoing divorce.

“In light of the recent accusations, I would like to clarify one point: I did not post the message to Roger to cause him any upset,” she says. “My intention was to protect our children and to liberate myself from all of the pain I had endured for so many years, to finally be free from the abuse and now look into the future more positively for the sake of the kids.”

RELATED: Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley Slams Estranged Husband Roger’s Alleged Parenting: ‘You Hurt the Children’

On Wednesday, Farley, 32, accused Mathews, 43, of physical and emotional abuse in a lengthy statement shared on her personal website. The reality star also released footage that allegedly showed her Mathews attacking her. In the clip, a man, who appears to be Mathews, can be seen shoving a woman, presumably Farley, to the ground in the kitchen of a home.

JenniFarley.com

In addition to abuse, Farley alleged in her statement that Mathews’ social media posts “are consumed with inaccuracies, false statements, self-serving comments, outright misrepresentations and blatant lies.”

RELATED: Jersey Shore Stars Support Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley After Alleged Abuse: ‘Here for You,’ Snooki Says

Roger Matthews and Jenni Farley
Jim Spellman/Getty; Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Farley accused Mathews of neglecting their children, 2-year-old son Greyson Valor, who is autistic, and daughter Meilani Alexandra, 4, on multiple occasions, recalling an incident where he allegedly didn’t let a therapist into the house for Greyson’s scheduled appointment “even though she stood there knocking and ringing the bell for 30 minutes in the freezing cold.”

Of Farley’s decision to speak out, a source tells PEOPLE: “Nothing happened that sparked it, she just started to understand that her silence was no longer in her best interest.”

“Roger was posting all these videos and everything kept painting Jenni in a negative light,” says the source. “She was getting death threats on social media. She was staying quiet because she wanted to protect her children. But it got to a point where Roger posting all these videos of him as this perfect dad put the kids in jeopardy. He was driving in a car with four kids, using his cell phone to video record him and the kids in the car. It outraged Jenni and the other two kids’ parents. It was dangerous.”

On Thursday, Mathews denied Farley’s claims in an Instagram video.

“I sit here humbly before you today, a pretty heartbroken man in light of recent circumstances and things that were said about me in a long, rambling rant that was highly erroneous and had many lies in it,” he said.

Mathews went on to explain that while his lawyers prepared a statement for him, he instead decided to “shoot from the hip.”

“We’re going to address this in court, which is the proper place to address this where it should be,” he said. “We’ve proven Jenni and her attorneys to be liars in the past and we will do it again. There is a deep-rooted history of this — playing the victim. This is just the early stages of this and I know we have the proponents of truth on our side.”

RELATED: From Finding Love at the Shore to Alleged Abuse — JWoww and Roger Mathews’ Relationship Timeline

Along with the clip, Mathews included legal documents in which his lawyers combat Farley’s claims, arguing that she “uploaded what can only be described as a fictitious and defamatory account of alleged unilateral, abusive conduct that creates a false narrative to provoke and incite her personal followers.”

The documents claim Farley’s statement created a bias against Mathews as it was shared and read by over a “quarter of a million” people.

“The accusations in the letter produced by Mr. Mathew’s counsel to the court lack merit, foundation and basis,” Farley’s rep told Entertainment Tonight in a statement. “They are laced with false statements and voluminous efforts to further intimidate and bully a young mother: a survivor of domestic abuse. Moreover, they are a transparent and desperate ploy to deflect away from the hard, cold facts, none of which appear to have been responded to.”

“The bottom line is that when a parent acts to protect the safety and well-being of their children, they are following through with their responsibility,” the statement continues. “It is this responsibility that Jenni Farley is focused on: working tirelessly to support these beautiful children and to set up a positive coparenting plan with their father that works for the benefit of Meilani and Greyson.”

If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go tothehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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