“Dancing With the Stars” alum Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino shared new details about the struggles he faced while competing on the show in 2010.
The “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” star opened up in a November 2023 interview with Entertainment Tonight to reveal that he was on drugs the whole time he partnered with pro dancer Karina Smirnoff for the 11th season of the ABC celebrity ballroom show.
“I was always high,” Sorrentino, 41, told the outlet of his time on DWTS. “It was extremely hard. It consumed all my time.”
Sorrentino said he also smuggled in drugs when shooting his MTV reality show in various cities. “I was into everything,” he continued. “I had everything on me at all times in my Louis Vuitton bag.”
The reality star rattled off a list of prescription drugs that he carried with him, including high-dose oxycodone, Xanax, and Valium in large quantities. “And if I wasn’t traveling on a plane maybe I would have some weed and cocaine as well,” he added.
Sorrentino became the fourth contestant eliminated on DWTS season 11.
Mike Sorrentino Said His Addiction to Pills Started When He was Injured on DWTS
This is not the first time Sorrentino has spoken out about his struggles with prescription pills. In a 2013 interview with NJ.com, the New Jersey native claimed his addiction began after he suffered a neck injury while competing DWTS.
After Sorrentino’s elimination, his pro partner revealed he’d been in pain. “[He’d] been hurting a lot on Tuesday,” Smirnoff told MTV News in 2010. “Not sure what was wrong, but it was in his neck area. He had a doctor come in right after the show. I really hope that the injury isn’t from those crazy lifts, especially since they didn’t pay off.”
Sorrentino later revealed a doctor prescribed him pain medication for his injury. “I was obviously on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and I hurt my lower back and neck,” he told WLNY TV in November 2013. “And by a doctor, I was prescribed an opiate prescription painkiller. And after months, I became dependent on this medication. I had to take it just to go on with my day. And you know, because I had that prescription, I thought it was okay. I tried to continue living and sort of hiding this problem that I had for a couple months until I eventually had to get help.”
Once he realized he was addicted to prescription pain medication, he sought treatment, but later relapsed.
Sorrentino told ET his lowest point came in 2015 when he tried heroin before checking into rehab. “I ended up trying a drug that I never thought I would try,” he admitted. “A drug that kills most people, a drug that most people don’t come back from.”
His rock bottom also included a secret sex tape he had waiting in the wings in case he never needed money. Sorrentino estimated he spent over $500,000 on his drug habit.
Mike Sorrentino Has Been Sober For Nearly 8 Years
Sorrentino has been sober since that 2015 rehab stint nearly eight years ago, according to The Messenger. He married his college sweetheart, Lauren Pesce, in 2018 and the two welcomed their first child, son Romeo Reign, in May 2021. In January 2023, the couple welcomed daughter Mia Bella Elizabeth. And they stunned fans nine months later by announcing Baby No. 3 due in March 2024.
In August 2023, Sorrentino told People magazine he feels grateful to make it to his 40s to become a family man. “I’ll be honest with you. I’m happy to make it this far,” Sorrentino told the outlet shortly after his 41st birthday. “I was so wild in my twenties and thirties that being the family man that I am today — being eight years sober in December, a dad of two, married five years in a happy, healthy marriage — I’m killing the game.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The free, confidential, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service is available in English and Spanish for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.