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Exclusive From In Touch Weekly

Jersey Shore's Ronnie Ortiz-Magro: I Was Bullied

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Who would want to mess with Jersey Shore tough guy Ronnie Ortiz-Magro?

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As a small kid growing up in the Bronx, a lot of people! "Everyone was always bigger than me, and being a lot smaller, I got picked on a lot by the guys in the grades above me," Ronnie, 26, tells In Touch. "My parents always taught me to walk away from a fight, but from a guy's point of view, how many times can you walk away? In other places you get respect, but in the Bronx, you have to earn it."

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For Ronnie, fighting back meant hitting the gym - hard. "I grew up watching guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin and knew I wasn't going to look like that sitting on the couch - I had to motivate and make it happen," says Ronnie. "It was because of the bullying - and I also started to get into girls, too!"

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As for accusations that he has taken steroids, Ronnie laughs, "People say I'm on steroids because they can't look like this eating fast food three days a week."

Ronnie also admits to In Touch that his experience makes him sensitive to charges that he has become a bully himself: "I get angry at that because every fight that I've been in on the show, I've been provoked or I'm defending myself. It's the Bronx instinct: If you feel threatened, you defend yourself." Despite this, he insists he's learned lessons from his boardwalk battles. "Watching the show, I get to look back on my mistakes and say, 'I'm not going to do that again,'" he says. "I grew up a lot during the Italy season. I stayed away from drama and just had a good time."

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Editors

Terra - Dennis Pastorizo.

Dennis Pastorizo

Meet Dennis, Terra's Entertainment Producer! This Colombian-American gossip guru loves to get the scoop on your favorite stars. Whether it's online or on the field, you can always count on him to bring you the hottest exclusives in the celebrity world.

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