Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi said the moment she realized she was "forcing" herself to be on Jersey Shore Family Vacation, she knew she had to leave. Polizzi surprised longtime Jersey Shore fans when she announced last week that she plans to leave Family Vacation after three seasons. The mother of three has been a part of the Jersey Shore family since the original show launched 10 years ago.
"I think when I was, like, actually forcing myself to be in a situation that I wasn’t happy in. Like, I was forcing myself to be 'happy,' and I'm like, 'That's not me.' I’m not genuinely happy," Polizzi, 32, said in a preview of her January 2020 interview on The Mel Robbins Show, reports Us Weekly. "That's when I'm like, 'I'm out.'"
Polizzi still said it was a difficult decision to make. After all, she has been on MTV almost non-stop for a decade.
"It was really hard, but I had to think about my happiness and where I really wanted myself to be, and it’s being a mom and being [with my] kids and not drama and drinking … and drama," Polizzi said.
Polizzi said she would not appear on Jersey Shore Family Vacation Season 4, if there is one, on It's Happening With Snooki and Joey. She said recent negative drama on the show influenced her decision.
"I am not coming back to Jersey Shore for Season 4 if there is one. And there's a lot of reasons why, but the main reason is... I just can't do it anymore," Polizzi said. "Our show, Jersey Shore, is about family and making fun of each other and having a good time and laughing and just knowing that it's all in good fun. Lately, everything is so serious."
Polizzi said it no longer feels like there is a "team" any more, with fans picking sides in dramas.
"Fans are against one another when it comes to a cast member. I don’t want that," she explained. "I’m not leaving my kids for days on end to film this show when that’s the result of it. I don’t like the turnout of it. I don’t like the person I’m portrayed as. It’s getting to be a little too much."
A source later explained to HollywoodLife the drama surrounding Angelina Pivarnick's wedding last month was the last straw for Polizzi. Pivarnick's wedding reception did not go as planned, as Polizzi, Jenni "JWoww" Farley and Deena Cortese gave a controversial speech.
"Nicole felt the show was heading in a direction that she wasn’t happy with so she left the show…She did not like how everything played out after Angelina's wedding and feels she’s being painted unfairly," the source explained. The source added that Polizzi "feels awful" about the speech and "never tried to ruin her day."
Family Vacation Season 3 also saw a tense plot where Pivarnick and Farley were pitted against each other after Pivarnick got flirty with Farley's then-boyfriend in Las Vegas. The cast also dealt with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino's jail sentence for tax fraud.
A source told PEOPLE the Family Vacation production team caught wind Polizzi was thinking about leaving the show, but it was still a shock to the cast.
"The most surprised are the cast, but I think they all understand that she is just exhausted and wants to try and do something on her own," the source said. "I think she just is probably burned out."
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