Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola opted not to take part in the Jersey Shore reboot, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, and according to her former castmate Deena Cortese, she's still just fine with that decision.
"She is doing great and building a house with her boyfriend and happy in her relationship," Cortese said in an interview with PEOPLE on Friday. "I think she is glad she made the decision not to come back."
Giancola's absence has been a topic of conversation both behind-the-scenes and on the show ever since the reboot premiered in April. The first episode featured Paul Develcchio (Pauly D) bringing a inflatable sex doll made to look like Giancola, which Cortese was adamantly against as she stuck up for her friend.
"Sammi isn't regretting her decision to go back on the show at all. She knew if she went back on it would be toxic," a source told US Weekly in May. "Just look at how everything is unfolding with Ronnie. She would have been thrown into this cheating drama for no reason just being for attached to the show."
"She's happy with her life and has moved on with her boyfriend. He's the one," the source continued. "They have a great life together and have their own business. She doesn't regret not going back on for a second."
Another cast member, Jenni "Jwoww" Farley, said in a TMZ interview she wished Giancola had reconsidered.
"We're eight people, we did it all together. She started it with us, she really should have ended it with us," Farley said. "If you're gonna be talked about on the show, you might as well be on the show, get paid for the show and defend your honor in a way."
"[Giancola] knew something was gonna happen. It was all in good fun, but it got a little weird, got a little crazy," she continued, referencing the sex doll.
Giancola spent the original six seasons of the show dating cast member Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, but the two broke up after the show was finished filming in 2012. Ortiz-Magro addressed their breakup on an episode of Family Vacation.0comments
"She gave me a timeline. She was like, I want to get married in six months — and I'm still trying to figure my life out," Ortiz-Magro said. "I got cold feet. I wanted to do the right thing, but there was a part of me that was like, 'I'm not going to do the right thing.' So I didn't do it. I ended up cheating, she found out. I blew it. It's over."
Giancola is currently dating bodybuilder Christian Biscardi.