Judge rejects victim's request to block 'Jersey Shore' DVD release
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/23/2010
Jersey Shore's first-season DVD box set will be released on Tuesday despite a request to block it by a man who was shown being punched unconscious by cast member Ronnie Ortiz-Magro on it.
Superior Court Judge Joseph L. Foster denied Stephen Izzo Jr.'s request that the court restrict the DVD's dissemination because footage of him being punched by Ortiz-Magro would be harmful to him, the Ashbury Park Pressreported Monday.
"The court fails to find any discernible harm to any degree should any one of the episodes be aired," said Foster in his ruling, according to the Press.
While Izzo's attorney Eugene M. LaVergne sought to prohibit any further dissemination of the footage because scenes were edited out of context and portrayed his client as the aggressor, Foster stated that viewers wouldn't even know it was Izzo by watching the DVD since producers took steps to obscure his face.
"A reasonable observer of either one of those episodes would be hard-pressed to identify the plaintiff other than a Caucasian male of a similar age," said Foster, the Press reported.
Izzo described the judges' ruling as a "joke."
"Everybody knew it was me. My tattoos are clear (in the television footage)," he told the Press."
The incident occurred on September 4 during filming for Jersey Shore's first season.
Ortiz-Magro has previously claimed he and fellow Jersey Shore cast members "Snooki" Nicole Polizzi and "Sweetheart" Sammi Giancola were walking home from a bar when they were accosted by a man who was being disrespectful to his friends, yelled "racist" remarks at the cast members' African-American security guards, and might have spat on him.
After delivering the punch that knocked Izzo unconscious, Ortiz-Magro was arrested and charged with aggravated assault for striking a man with a closed fist.
He spent a few hours in jail before being released on $600 bail.
Both Izzo and MTV will be back in court on March 19, according to the Press, at which time the network will have to argue why the judge should not issue an injunction prohibiting further airing or dissemination of the episodes.