The stars of Jersey Shore have grown up quite a bit since the reality show debuted on MTV more than a decade ago. A number of the cast members have gotten married and/or become parents, including Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, and Jenni “JWoww” Farley. But did you know that Paul D. DelVecchio Jr.—a.k.a. Pauly D—is also a dad?
The 40-year-old DJ had a child with a woman back in 2013, though she was never Pauly D’s girlfriend. In fact, the pair had a very public custody battle not long after the baby was born. Here’s the lowdown on Pauly D’s baby mama, Amanda Markert, and Amabella, Pauly D’s daughter.
DJ Pauly D Had A Baby With Amanda Markert
Amanda Markert gave birth to Amabella Sophia Markert on May 15th, 2013. She already had one child, a son named Mikey, from a previous relationship. A New Jersey Native, Markert graduated from Absegami High School in 2005 and attended Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing, N.J. According to reports, she was a cocktail waitress for some time, working at both Hooters and Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.
Pauly D And Amanda Markert Had A One Night Stand
Reportedly, Markert met Pauly D at a club in Las Vegas in 2013. The pair were never in a relationship and their hookup was just a one-night stand. In fact, Pauly D didn’t even know about Amabella’s existence until Markert threatened to file a paternity suit against him, after Amabella was born. Fortunately, Pauly D manned up, took a DNA test, and announced that he was, indeed, the dad. “I’m proud I’m a father,” he told Us Weekly in October 2013. “I am excited to embark on this new part of my life.”
When news broke of Pauly D’s new role as a proud papa, his Jersey Shore castmates were thrilled for their former roommate. “I couldn’t be more happy for Pauly!” Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola told E! News. “He is going to be such a wonderful dad! This new little girl is so lucky to have the coolest father around!”
Jenni “JWoww” Farley agreed. “I was so excited for him,” she said in an interview with HollywoodLife. “He sent me a picture of her, she is gorgeous. I think he’s gonna be a great dad.”
The Custody Battle Got Ugly
Unfortunately, Pauly D’s joy was short-lived, as he found himself in a contentious custody battle with Markert just days after learning he was a dad. Apparently, Markert wanted child support from the Jersey Shore star but did not want him to have any custody rights. This prompted Pauly D to file a suit for full custody of Amabella, claiming Markert was an unfit mother because she had worked at Hooters.
Eventually, the two came to an agreement, though the details of their custody arrangement has never been publicly disclosed. But it appears as though Markert has primary custody of Amabella, as the proud mom frequently posts pics of her daughter to Instagram.
In a 2018 interview with Us Weekly, however, Pauly D made it clear that’s he’s very involved in his daughter’s life.
“When she comes into my house, it echos and she’s loud, moving around,” he shared. “It’s great, right. But when she leaves, it’s, like, silent. And I feel it. I’m like, oh man I miss her. It’s just tough. [But] we FaceTime, I talk to her every single day on the phone, and I’m just involved in her life.”
Pauly D also said he enjoys balancing his work life with his responsibilities as a father. “I think it’s good, it’s the best of both worlds. So how I balance is like, when I’m at work I’m in work mode, when I’m a dad I’m in dad mode. But actually, dad mode calms me down since I’m not traveling when I’m home. So it gives me a chance to be home. My mother comes too, so I can see my mother and my baby. So it’s dope, it’s almost, like, it keeps you humble.”