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Ronnie Ortiz-Magro made his wildly anticipated return to Jersey Shore: Family Vacation on Thursday night.

The appearance by this often-troubled star marked the first time he was seen on television since January 2022, back when his friends and castmates reacted to the news that he had once again been arrested for domestic violence.

Seven months prior to that episode hitting the air, Ronnie announced that he was taking a break from filming.

And prior to this admission, Ronnie talked openly in 2019 after his battle with alcoholism and depression.

Ronnie is back on Jersey Shore Family Vacation. This scene marked his first appearance since January 2022.

So… how is Magro-Ortiz doing these days?

On Thursday’s new episode, he met up with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and updated his long-time pal on his progress since leaving the series.

“Haven’t seen the East Coast in a while, been a long year and it’s been a lot of doing the right thing, being a full time dad, being sober, living the best life that I can live one day at a time,” Ronnie said via a confessional… before grabbing lunch with Mike.

“I really want Mike to see where I’m at in my life. I’ve gone to treatment before and slipped up.

“Now I’m sober and I think that’s humbled me out.”

Mike went on to push his friend for more information.

“I did my 30 days, but 30 days isn’t going to fix 30 years of f-cking up,” Ronnie told The Situation, adding that he has sponsor now.

“Part of the process of being sober and going through the steps is getting a sponsor, he checks in on me, makes sure I’m doing the right thing.

“I did inpatient, then I did IOP [intensive outpatient program], then I did OP [outpatient program].”

In a confessional of his own, Mike said it certainly seemed as if Ronnie was taking his ordeal “very seriously” this time around.

He also emphasized the importance of the entire cast showing its support for Ronnie, especially in the wake of Mike having been down a similar road himself with substance abuse in the past.

“The whole squad, I’m eager for them to see the new Ron,” Mike said on air.

That didn’t happen this week, however, as Ronnie only caught up with The Situation.

In a surprising bombshell drop, Ronnie also told Mike that he now has full custody of his four-year old daughter, Ariana.

“That is basically the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” he explained.

“Part of being a full time dad and having her all the time is that I have to dedicate time to what she wants to do.

“My whole life revolves around this person, this little tiny person. I’m being the best father I can be. I’m working on being the best friend I can be to my friends.”

It’s unclear just what prompted this custody change, as Ronnie formerly shared custody of the infant with ex Jen Harley.

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro with Black Eye
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro looks into the MTV cameras here, with a black eye, and shrugs during a confessional.

It’s also unclear when this episode was filmed, but likely before Ronnie split from fiance Saffire Matos.

Looking ahead?

Ortiz-Magro grew VERY emotional in a subsequent confessional, even crying when asked how things had been with his co-stars over the past year or so.

“Definitely miss the roommates. This has been one of the hardest years I’ve ever had to face and I’ve been through some sh-t,” he said, tears streaming down his face.

“I f-cked up, I understand and that’s part of recovery as well.

“What matters is that I got through it and I’m gonna continue to get through it and take it one day at a time.”