Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino officially began his prison sentence on Tuesday, and his wife, Lauren Pesce, praised his bravery and resolve.
Sorrentino was indicted for tax evasion way back in 2014. After years of deliberations and plea deals, he finally entered the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York on Tuesday to serve his eight-month-long sentence, making one last Instagram post as he went. Pesce left an encouraging comment.
"Strongest man I know," she wrote. "Love you honeys, see you soon."
Pesce and Sorrentino are college sweehearts who only just rekindled their romance in the last few years. They married in November, and the judge allowed Sorrentino to delay his sentence for the ceremony. Sorrentino's post on Tuesday showed him wearing a shirt with his own image on it, reading "Free Sitch."
"FREE SITCH," the reality star wrote in the caption, adding the catch phrase as a hashtag as well. "See you guys on the other side."
Pesce posted another heartfelt tribute to Sorrentino on Tuesday as well, remarking on how much he has grown in the years that she has known him.
"So proud to call this incredible man my husband," she wrote. "Just found this pic from Lake Tahoe the year we got back together in 2013 to the strongest man I know, I love you endlessly, see you soon honey #FreeSitch."
Sorrentino's departure for prison was a major event on social media. The reality star live-streamed his ride to turn himself over on Instagram Live, assuring fans that he was excited to put the whole ordeal in the past.
"I'm just gonna handle this and put this behind me and move forward," he said. "The comeback is always greater than the setback."
Sorrentino was charged with avoiding taxes on $8.9 million worth of income with the help of his brother, Marc. They established what prosecutors call S corporations, which allowed them to pay personal expenses with company money and not report their income to the government. In 2017, even more charges were added, claiming that the brothers had structured bank deposits to fall just under the reporting thresholds. They were also charged with falsifying records.
Taken on their own, Sorrentino's charges could have amounted to nine years of prison time, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. In the end, however, he and his brother reached favorable plea agreements. Sorrentino pled guilty in January of 2018, and in October he was sentenced to eight months in prison and a total of $133,000 in fines. Afterward, he will perform 500 hours of community service. His brother will serve two years in prison.