Ronald Smith, star of the hit TLC series 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, recently opened up about his experience with gambling addiction during a Q&A session on Instagram. The 29-year-old reality star gave advice to fans struggling with the same addiction and talked about his process for avoiding a relapse.
On tonight’s episode of 90 Day Fiancé, his wife Tiffany Franco and her young son Daniel pick Ronald up from rehab, so fans will get an inside look at his experiences with addiction and how the family copes with it.
Ronald also has a criminal record that might impact his ability to move back to the United States with Tiffany in the future, although the couple appears to be working with an immigration officer to see what their options are. Here’s what you need to know about Ronald’s gambling addiction and criminal history:
His Criminal Record Has Impacted His Ability to get an American Visa
During an earlier episode of the TLC series, Tiffany met with an immigration lawyer to discuss the possibility of Ronald being able to enter the United States after the two are married. Immigration officer Robert Gillespie explained that the criminal record plays a big role in the visa process, and even if most of his charges were dismissed, they were still serious enough to pose a threat to his immigration status.
Tiffany uncovered several charges on his record, including an armed robbery offense, a charge for stolen money, and a drug charge stemming from a traffic stop. Although she claims the charges were all dismissed, Gillespie told her that his charges will still affect his ability to receive residency in the U.S.
“If there is anywhere on his record that [shows] he admitted [fault], that is an admission for which he can be determined inadmissible,” Gillespie told Tiffany.
He is Not Afraid to Talk About His Gambling Addiction & Offers Advice to Fans Online
Ronald recently opened up about his gambling addiction during a Q&A session on Instagram, and even reached out to a fan who was battling the same addiction and who recently lost his home. Ronald has been in and out of rehab for his addiction, and admits that he still struggles with wanting to go to the casino any time he has extra cash, according to TV Shows Ace.
When asked how he copes with his gambling addiction, Ronald said, “It’s hard,” adding, “I have things in place to fight temptation mentally” which includes three support steps. He goes over his support steps in his head before he thinks about taking “that drive towards a casino.” He also considers his goals and keeps in mind “what [he] wants to achieve in the long run.”
Ronald stated that God helps him meet his challenges, and offered a word of advice to fans that were struggling with the same addiction, writing: “I know the feeling of hitting rock bottom you just gotta try and get up every time.”
He continued: “I know your situation is hard but at the end of the day if you keep your head up and try to turn a negative into a positive you will succeed.” He also suggested getting an “accountability partner” to fall back on when in need of extra support, and told the fan that “anything is possible and can turn around. It all starts with you having the will to say that was enough.”
Ronald & Tiffany Didn’t Discuss His Criminal Past or Addiction Before She Agreed to Marry Him
Although the couple now appears to be happy, healthy and completely in love, his criminal history and gambling addiction caused some issues between the two when Tiffany first arrived in South Africa. Ronald had neglected to tell Tiffany about the two before she agreed to marry him, and although Tiffany still opted to move halfway across the world to be with Ronald, she worried that her fiancé was keeping secrets from her, which doesn’t bode well for their future.
“I definitely should’ve asked Ronald more questions about his record when I did see it, but there was so much already going on with the gambling addiction and everything else,” Tiffany said on the show. “But now at this point, I want to make sure that there’s nothing he’s hiding because my future and Daniel’s future is on the line. There’s definitely some more information that I need to get.”