'Jersey Shore' Star Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Feels Like a 'Changed Man' After Prison Release

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is beginning a whole new chapter as a "changed man" after the Jersey Shore Family Vacation star was released earlier this month from prison, having been sentenced to eight months on tax evasion charges. Talking to Entertainment Tonight in his first interview since leaving prison, the MTV star gushed over new wife Lauren while describing what kept him going through the difficult court case.

"Oh my God, to be a free man, to be honest with you, it's awesome," Sorrentino told the outlet. "It's fantastic. I have my beautiful wife next to me. I'm healthy, I'm sober, back at work with my best friends on the No. 1 show on MTV and just living the dream."

"You sort of take your freedom for granted sometimes," he explained of his reflection while in prison. "Once you get out, you are taking advantage [of] every minute. Every second, every meal, every conversation with my beautiful wife, with my friends. I love my job, so I am on such an awesome road and we are very excited to see what the future has to offer."

Showing his whole legal drama, including the first day of his incarceration, on the Jersey Shore reboot may have been painful, but Sorrentino explained he hoped to be a good example throughout it all.

"Our main goal throughout the whole process was to handle it with grace and class," he said. "Not only for ourselves but to show the young generation out there how to handle adversity and move forward and continue to be the best, even if you make mistakes."

As for his time in prison, Sorrentino isn't looking to dwell on his experience before moving forward with his new family.

"It's a very uncomfortable situation from start to finish [but] it's not the end of the world," he admitted. "I didn't feel sorry for myself, but any time something good happened in our lives, I would be in my feels for that. I was very proud of the Jersey Shore Family Vacation that was airing on TV and it was our wedding [being played out], so every single week I was in prison but I was watching myself on screen.

"I was just proud of myself that, even under extreme stress and adversity, I was still able to do my job and do it well," he continued. "And still able to earn an income while in prison."

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Jersey Shore Family Vacation airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.

Photo credit: Dave Kotinsky / Stringer, Getty