Jersey Shore alum Ronnie Ortiz-Magro pleaded not guilty to seven misdemeanors following an alleged domestic violence altercation with his on-off girlfriend, Jen Harley. The reality star appeared at Van Nuys Courthouse West in Los Angeles on Friday, November 8, where his lawyer entered the plea.
Ortiz-Magro, 33, was arrested on October 4 on suspicion of felony domestic violence and kidnapping his 19-month-old daughter, Ariana, whom he shares with Harley, 31. At the time, the district attorney declined to formally charge him with kidnapping and the case was deferred to the City Attorney.
During the hearing, Ortiz-Magro dressed in a black suit and remained quiet as his attorney, Leonard Levine, spoke on his behalf. A source tells Us Weekly exclusively that a Los Angeles City Attorney requested a protective order for Harley and Ariana, which was granted by the judge.
The source adds that the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star “looked somber in court when he was in front of the judge,” and was instantly recognized by fans who had showed up to the courthouse. “One guy who was also there for his own case took a video of Ronnie, which got him into huge trouble with the deputies,” the insider said.
After being ordered by the judge to delete the recording, the man apparently replied, “Sorry, I’m a big fan of this guy,” and pointed to the MTV star.
Ortiz-Magro was charged with one count of domestic violence, one count of brandishing a deadly weapon, one count of criminal threats, one count of willful child endangerment, one count of false imprisonment and two counts count of resisting arrest. On October 4, he allegedly hit Harley and chased her through their Los Angeles Airbnb with a knife in hand.
On October 24, attorney Scott E. Leemon addressed the charges in a statement to Us. “The facts and circumstances around Ronnie’s arrest have been misreported and exaggerated, like we mentioned in the past,” Leemon said. “We are happy the District Attorney’s refused to file any charges and we look forward to addressing this matter with City Attorney; until then, we will make no further comment.”
The Los Angeles Police Department told Us at the time of Ortiz-Magro’s arrest that he was “uncooperative” with officers, who were armed with tasers. They later confirmed that the couple’s daughter was at the scene, but “the child was not harmed.”
Ortiz-Magro was initially booked for kidnapping and was released on $100,000 bail following his arrest. Before the alleged incident, the reality star spoke candidly about his relationship with Harley at the launch of his CBD line, VERGE, in West Hollywood.
“Honestly, even though everyone thinks we’re toxic, she really does balance me out,” he told Us at the time. “She really does keep me level because with her I have her and the baby, which is a family, which is what I want at the end of the day.”
Ortiz-Magro is expected to return to court on November 12 for a pretrial. Levine declined to comment further on the case, rushing his client out of the back entry of the courthouse to avoid press.
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez
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