In the 18 months since Roger Mathews and Jenni Farley separated, the former couple has been repeatedly put through the wringer by the celebrity gossip media.
It was initially reported that the split was amicable.
Fans were heartbroken by videos Mathews posted in which he implored his wife to give their marriage a second chance.
Alas, that was not to be, and the divorce eventually got ugly - as divorces tend to, particularly ones in the public eye.
These days, both parties have moved on - Jenni with Zach Carpinello, Roger with new girlfriend Danielle Miel - and set aside their differences to make their children's happiness their top priority.
So Mathews' exclusive comments to The Hollywood Gossip can be considered a closing statement of sorts on the topic.
Even those who have been following the story closely might be surprised by what he has to say. Roger doesn't hold back.
Take a look:
Back in 2018, fans were stunned by the news that Jersey Shore's most beloved couple had separated. These days, Jenni Farley and Roger Mathews' divorce is finalized, but the exes are still bound together by their shared love for their children.
In a series of heartfelt Instagram videos, Mathews admitted wrongdoing and urged his ex to give their marriage a second chance.
A Vicious Cycle
It was not to be, however, and as the split became messier, it garnered more media attention, which in turn, led to more ugliness between Jenni and Roger.
What Really Matters
These days, the dust has mostly settled, and Jenni and Roger have moved on to new relationships, as well as a renewed focus on the health and happiness of their two children.
Clearing the Air
In an exclusive new interview with The Hollywood Gossip, Mathews spoke out about the divorce, the tremendous toll it took on his mental health, and the various ways in which he feels he was unfairly portrayed in the media.
Asked what specifically caused his mental health to take a turn for the worse following his divorce, Roger told us, "My family life drastically changed and it being played out publicly with much negativity."
In a recent interview
on the Champ and the Tramp podcast hosted by UFC fighter Frankie Edgar, Mathews mentioned that the split brought him to the brink of suicide. We asked about that dark time in his life.
His Darkest Hour
"There were definitely a number of nights where I laid in bed by myself and seriously considered swallowing an entire bottle of anti-depressants," Roger said.
A Close Call
Shockingly, Mathews says there was one occasion in which he very nearly attempted to take his own life.
Pushed to the Brink
"One night in particular where I actually dumped the entire contents of the bottle in my mouth," he continued.
The Downward Spiral
Asked about the triggers that brought him so close to taking his own life, Mathews elaborated on the factors that contributed to his despair.
A Perfect Storm
"Sorta answered this with question one but I just felt alone, and was publicly painted as a pariah and a monster and was facing a lengthy and costly custody battle," he explained.
Of course, in the end, Mathews' story is one of redemption and perseverance -- so we asked about what enabled him to move on from this period of turmoil and begin the long work of rebuilding his life.
Not Holding Back
"I overcame it finally when everyone left," came Roger's remarkably candid answer. "When my friends and family had to return to their normal lives and stopped being my crutch."
All On His Own
"Stopped helping me take care of my kids when I had them, stopped making me food while I laid in bed, stopped writing out my bills and making phone calls for me," he continued.
Forced to Stand Up
"When I had no one there physically anymore I just had me and I had responsibilities," Mathews went on. "First and foremost my kids needed to be cared for when they were with me and could not see their father in that state of mind."
A Never-Ending Struggle
Obviously, Roger is doing much better these days, but as anyone who's ever struggled with depression knows, no improvement is permanent, and the threat of relapse is constant.
Not Out of the Woods
"Of course I’m nervous I could go back to that state of mind," Mathews said when asked about the possibility of a recurrence of symptoms. "We all could with just a few twists of fate in our lives."
Hoping For the Best
"Some things are beyond our control and the best we can hope for is health and well being for ourselves and those around us but life throws us unforeseen obstacles and we either overcome or cave to the pressures," Roger continued.
While Roger obviously went through some very difficult times, he says he's now able to see the ways in which he benefited from his tribulations.
Growth Through Hardship
"I blame no one for my circumstances. I needed to live through that. It made me a better me," he told THG. "I had to do some real soul searching and see past the judgment of those who really knew nothing about my life or the situations within."
"If you remove all that and just concentrate on what was important, my kids and having a roof over our heads then all else could be overcome," Mathews said. "I didn’t say 'all else didn’t matter' because it did but it was secondary to what I needed to get up everyday and be the father I needed to be."
Motivated By Love
Yes, Roger firmly believes that nothing benefited him more in the days following his divorce than his love for his son and daughter and his need to do right by them.
"My kids are absolutely my saving grace, all the thoughts I had about quitting life I never had when my kids were with me," Roger told us.
A Similar Struggle
"They had to go through a similar process too of not understanding what was going on with their family and that I’m sure was tough for them but in the end things are the way they are supposed to be and I’m in a great place and enjoying my life and have no animosity toward anyone," Mathews added.
Water Under the Bridge
Yes, in an admirable display of selflessness and maturity, Roger says he hopes for a healthy relationship with Jenni for the sake of their kids.
Looking to the Future
"I happy their mother is happy too," Roger said. "I think we are in a wonderful spot of co-parenting in a positive and productive manner. I will not dwell in negativity. The future is too bright. Onwards and upwards!"
Better Days Ahead
No doubt the past 18 months have been the most difficult of Rogers' life, but these days, the father of two has reason to be optimistic.
For starters, he's in a relationship with Jersey-based hairdresser Danielle Miel.
Proceeding With Caution
Those who know the couple best say Roger and Danielle are thoroughly smitten with one another, but are taking things slowly for his kids' sake.
Stronger Than Ever
Whatever the happens in his love life, however, fans of Roger's are thrilled with the progress he's shown as a father, a co-parent, and as a man.