Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

By Erin O'Neill October 21, 2011

Chris Christie says “Jersey Shore” cast members are from New York

The cast members of the "Jersey Shore" may live by three words -- gym, tan, laundry -- but Chris Christie has just one to describe their show: bad.

The New Jersey governor in a recent radio interview slammed the MTV show, repeating one of his favorite criticisms of its cast. The roommates in the Seaside Heights beach house aren’t from New Jersey.

"Here's the deal, let's remember something for the people who are listening in your audience, these 'Jersey Shore' folks, they're from New York," Christie said Wednesday on 77 WABC’s ‘The Joe Crummey Show’. "They parachute these New Yorkers into Seaside Heights, New Jersey, and they try to make the whole country think this is New Jersey. It's not. It's bad for New Jersey. It's bad ... because it's a mischaracterization of who the people are here in New Jersey and so I've said all along that I think ‘Jersey Shore’ is bad."

Christie last month vetoed a $420,000 tax credit -- dubbed the "Snooki subsidy" -- for the MTV show, saying the program "does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the State and its citizens."

There are eight fist-pumping housemates who are the target of Christie’s scorn.

Of them, two are New Jersey natives, PolitiFact New Jersey found.

Samantha Giancola, or Sammi, and Deena Nicole Cortese were born and raised in New Jersey. Giancola hails from Hazlet and attended William Paterson University, where she was a midfielder on the women’s soccer team.

Cortese is from New Egypt and attended Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. She joined the cast in season three, replacing Staten Island, N.Y.-native Angelina Pivarnick.

Five of the six other cast members are New York natives.

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino was born in Staten Island but grew up in Manalapan. His publicist said Sorrentino still lives in New Jersey, but he also conducts business in Miami. Jenni "JWoww" Farley also grew up in New York, but now lives within Jersey’s borders, according to an MTV spokesperson.

Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Magro and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi are from New York. Rhode Island-native Paul DelVecchio is the only cast member from outside the tri-state area.

An MTV spokesperson declined to comment on Christie’s remarks. But Polizzi spoke with The Star-Ledger in August.

"It’s the 'Jersey Shore.' We’re not trying to represent Jersey," she said then. "Even if you’re from Africa, you’re gonna come here."

Our ruling

The governor said the cast members of the "Jersey Shore" are from New York and misrepresent "who the people are here in New Jersey."

Sammi and Deena are true Jersey girls -- born and raised. "The Situation" was born in New York, but grew up and still lives in New Jersey. We think he deserves some Jersey cred.

Four New Yorkers -- one of whom, "JWoww,"  has since moved to New Jersey -- and a Rhode Island-native round out the rest of the crew.  

We rate Christie’s statement Half True.

To comment on this ruling, go to

Our Sources

77W ABC Radio, The Joe Crummey Show, Oct. 19, 2011

MTV, "Jersey Shore" Cast, accessed Oct. 19, 2011

The Star-Ledger, Gov. Christie vetoes ‘Jersey Shore’ tax credit, Sept. 26, 2011

Office of Gov. Chris Christie, Governor Christie Vetoes $420,000 Jersey Shore Film Tax Credit Award as Wasteful Use of Limited Taxpayer Resources, Sept. 26, 2011

The Star-Ledger, Christie calls 'Jersey Shore's' Snooki 'negative for N.J.,'July 25, 2010

MTV, 'Jersey Shore' Adds Deena Nicole Cortese To The Cast, Aug. 6, 2010

William Paterson University, Women's Soccer Starts League Play with 1-1 Result at Rutgers-Camden, Sept. 9, 2009

Email interview with Matthew Cohen, owner of IAG Entertainment & Sports, Oct. 19, 2011

Email interview with Jessica Cohen, owner of JCPR, Oct. 19, 2011

Email interview with Stacey Wechsler, owner of Hired Gun Publicity, Oct. 19, 2011

Interview with Noelle Llewellyn, spokeswoman for MTV, Oct. 20, 2011

Interview with Jo Mignano, publicist with Krupp Kommunications, Oct. 20, 2011

Email interview with Cindy Guagenti, publicist with BWR, Oct. 20, 2011

Brookdale Community College, Jersey Blues Cheerleading Roster 2005-2006, accessed Oct. 20, 2011

The Star-Ledger, Angelina Pivarnick responds to Gov. Christie's criticism of 'Jersey Shore,'July 29, 2010

New York Times,New Jersey, as Real as It Gets, Dec. 9, 2009

The Star-Ledger, 'Jersey Shore' castmates spill details on fourth season: Close encounters of the Snooki kind, Aug. 5, 2011

The Star-Ledger, Deena Nicole Cortese officially announced as the newest cast member of 'Jersey Shore', Aug. 7, 2010

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Erin O'Neill

Chris Christie says “Jersey Shore” cast members are from New York

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up