Vinny was the youngest and most innocent cast member of the reality TV hit Jersey Shore. He is more famously known as Vinny G, and under that nickname he endeared himself to audiences around the globe for his sweet disposition and efforts to avoid the house’s unending drama.
After spending two months abroad during the show’s fourth season, the Staten Island native was eager to return home to his Italian American family. But news that the cast would immediately begin filming the show’s fifth season in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, were too overwhelming for him, and Vinny decided to leave the show. He revealed that he had long suffered from chronic anxiety that manifests itself in feelings of irritability, isolation,and helplessness, as well as physical symptoms such as insomnia and panic attacks.
“It’s a terrible environment for me to be in when I’m anxious because there’s drinking involved, there’s fighting involved, a lack of sleep, a lack of privacy,” he said of being part of the Jersey Shore. “One of your resources is actually to remove yourself from the situation at hand,” Vinny added, explaining his departure.
After that, he became part of The Jed Foundation, a national nonprofit that aims to protect the emotional health of teenagers and college students. Vinny shares his story and helps others through the Peabody Award-winning Half of Us campaign. As a staunch advocate for promoting mental and emotional health, he consults and guides younger people on how to put their well being first in his book Control the Crazy, published in April 2012, as well as in informative and inspiring presentations.