The reality star says she wants to "avoid potentially TOXIC SITUATIONS," as the cast tells TooFab their side of the story.
While Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Paul "Pauly D" DelVecchio, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Vinny Guadagnino and Deena Cortese all returned to their GTL roots for the show, Sammi was mysteriously absent. With the cast doing a full publicity blitz before the premiere, Sammi cleared the air on Instagram on Friday.
"I have chosen not to join the show this season because I am at a completely different place in my life right now focusing on my businesses and relationship," she wrote. "I am not the same person as I was when I was 22. At 31, I am currently extremely happy in every aspect of my life and want to avoid potentially TOXIC SITUATIONS."
"However, it was a difficult decision as I love my roomies. I've decided to focus on me, my future and what truly makes me happy," she continued. "I will forever be grateful to 'Jersey Shore' and everything it has brought to me! I've just decided to live my life for me these days. Also I am forever grateful & thankful for all of you!!! Special shoutout to my fans, but I'm not going anywhere! Follow me and stay tuned, you never know what I could be up to NEXT!"
JWoww's husband, Roger Mathews, commended Sammi's decision, writing in the comments, "Lots of respect for this as I said to you. Minus the money I see absolutely zero benefits to participating. You look happy and at peace. Stay blessed." He later added, "Different circumstances for different households. My wife is a grown adult and can make her own choices. Very proud of the businesswoman and mother my wife has become. I would never tell my wife what she can and can't do. Free will should always prevail. I wasn't aware of what the show would be. I thought the powers that be might want to show a new side to them. A mature side with family's and children. I was wrong but to be clear I love my wife very much. Drama sells. I get it. Just not my thing anymore."
When the cast was asked about Sammi's absence while filming an upcoming episode of TooFab's "On the Rocks" on Thursday, they certainly made it sound like money was a major factor in their decision to do the show.
"She must be rich! Maybe she doesn't need the money," Pauly said. "I'm trying to think about it, like, maybe she's rich? I don't know. We wanted everybody to do it." "We miss her," Deena added, with Vinny chiming in, "We still trucked along and did our thing."
Vinny also assured fans that Sammi's "presence" is felt in the first episode. "Thanks to me," Pauly added. "Prank war champion!"
"We would've liked to complete it with her or have her participate in it, but at the end of the day, we support her decision," Mike said. "She said no, and as a squad and a team, we must march on."
While JWoww believes she won't be part of the already-announced second season either, Pauly thinks she may change her mind after Season 1 kicks off next week. Mike added he'd like to see her come back to "defend her honor."
"Jersey Shore: Family Vacation" premieres Thursday, April 5 on MTV.