Reality TV has thrust many into the limelight and while some fade back into oblivion after a moment, others go on to build a lasting career… Nicole Polizzi aka Snooki belongs to the second category. She shot to fame as one of the cast members of the reality TV show, Jersey Shore, after which she made appearances in top talk shows around the nation before going on to launch careers in TV hosting, and wrestling albeit short-lived.
Snooki’s grip on reality TV remains firm with main cast credits in Snooki & JWoww: Moms With Attitude, and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. Let’s take you through a quick walk from the start of her career to her breakthrough to stardom as we touch on key aspects of her personal life.
Snooki (Nicole Polizzi) – Bio
Nicole Elizabeth Polizzi was born on the 23rd day of November 1987 in Santiago, Chile. At just 6 months old, she was adopted by Italian-American parents Andy Polizzi and Helen Polizzi. She would come to learn that her birth parents gave her up for adoption because they could not afford to raise her. Though she was born in Chile, Snooki has no Chilean roots genetically. A DNA test she performed revealed her to be of a mixed descent including Romani, Iberian American, South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Jewish.
Her adoptive parents brought her back to New Jersey where she grew up attending Marlboro High School New York and was part of the cheerleading team. She earned the name Snookie from her middle school years. Her friends had given her the name in reference to a male character in the 1991 teen dance film, Save the Last Dance because she was the first among them to kiss a boy.
After high school, Snooki wanted to become a veterinary technician and began studying for it at Community College. However, she would end up in reality TV. She first appeared in MTV’s show, Is She Really Going Out With Him? before coming under the radar of Jersey Shore casting directors. She became the breakout star of the show, and the rest is history.
Snooki has earned a lot of money from TV. Her salary per episode on Jersey Shore rose from $5,000 per episode to $22,000 per episode to $30,000 and then $150,000 per episode for the show’s final season.
She has been able to monetize her fame in several other ways including authoring books that have achieved mild to huge success, establishing a fashion line called SnookiLove, as well as hosting her own shows. Snooki once made a huge profit off selling her 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT on eBay. She had bought it for $60,000 but sold it in 2013 for $75,000.
In 2012, she was paid $32,000 by Rutgers University to speak to students about what comes with the celebrity status. Snooki’s net worth is estimated at $4 million.
Family – Husband and Kids
Snooki is married to Jionni LaValle a fellow Jersey Shore alum. They got engaged in 2012 and got married on the 29th of November, 2014. Before their marriage, the couple had begun having kids. Their first kid, a boy named Lorenzo Dominic LaValle, was born on August 26, 2012, while their second kid, a daughter named Giovanna Marie LaValle, was born on September 26, 2014. Her kids who also appear on Jersey Shore spin-off Family Vacation have become mini-reality TV stars themselves.
Snooki’s husband Jionni LaValle unlike her isn’t a fan of reality TV. After he declined from filming the Family Vacation spin-off, rumors began to swirl that a divorce was imminent but LaValle was quick set the records straight.
Jionni LaValle who was born on March 20, 1987, in East Hanover, New Jersey prefers to stick to running his businesses. A successful entrepreneur, he owns ATM businesses across America. LaValle was able to set up his business thanks to financial help from his family which includes three siblings named; Joe, James, and Janelle. In addition to his ATM businesses, LaValle is a co-owner of a fashion line named NJ Fatman. His net worth is estimated at $200,000.
As a media personality, Snooki needs her body to be in top shape all the time. There is no compromising on looking good and too much weight is almost a taboo. After having her first kid in August 2012, she put on a lot of weight.
Body shammers came at her, but Snooki was out to get her revenge with a new body. With workouts and dieting, Snooki achieved her goal of a slim body. Atypical of Snooki, she documented her progress via social media and would later begin posting how-to workout videos to her website. She revealed her work-out routine to People Magazine saying she went to the gym four times a week.
By March 2013, she had dropped 46 pounds and was featured on the cover of USA Magazine. She would further drop 4 pounds to make the total weight loss 50 pounds. Snooki now weighs around 96 pounds and has made a 180 degree turn from her wild partying, frequent boozing lifestyle.