Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that “Swamp People” is one of those shows destined to stay on TV for a very long time. Even though the alligator hunting activities featured in the series have always been subject to criticism and skeptical comments, that hasn’t affected “Swamp People” at all and has even increased their appeal in the eyes of their most loyal viewers.

While just making a living out of hunting already makes the show’s cast quite controversial, some of them have even more important problems in real life to care about. That’s the case with R.J. Molinere and his son Jay Paul, whose encounters with the law have slightly overshadowed the fame they’ve gained on TV.

However, was that the reason behind the Molineres’ absence from “Swamp People”? Stay here to know all!

What Happened To Them?

While it isn’t rare for “Swamp People” to rotate the cast members from time to time, it was a big surprise for fans to tune in to the show’s 11th season only to find RJ Molinere and his son Jay Paul were nowhere to be seen. Though it would be logical to assume that the pair was fired from the show, due to the legal issues they faced back in 2013, that’s an unlikely possibility given how their exit from “Swamp People” took place several years later in 2019.

So far, neither the production behind the show nor the Molineres have explained what caused the father and son to be left out of “Swamp People”, but it would be safe to assume it was an executive decision, meant to give the show a new face. As it happened, the exit of RJ and Jay Paul from “Swamp People” wasn’t the only visible change the show has been through in recent seasons, as several new members have joined the cast, and have quickly become fan favorites as well.

What Are They Doing Now?

Following Jay Paul and RJ Molinere’s exit from “Swamp People”, the pair haven’t shown much of their gator-hunting escapades on social media. As seen in the pair’s Instagram accounts, they often go fishing and hunting in their native Louisiana, yet content related to gator-hunting activities isn’t very prominent there, leading us to believe that they have partially or totally abandoned the occupation which made them famous, to focus on other projects.

Still, the pair is doing well these days. In 2022, RJ won both the left and right arms categories of Louisiana’s arm wrestling championship in the 154lbs division. This isn’t the first time that RJ has taken home important prizes in this sport, as years prior he also won several competitions in other states, and was even inducted into Louisiana’s Hall of Fame of Armwrestling in 2020.

For his part, Jay Paul seems to be more focused on family and work these days. As seen in his very active Instagram account, Jay Paul’s current occupation is farming, though he also takes time off work to spend it with his wife and kids, on top of regularly going fishing and deer hunting.

All in all, it’s a shame not to see the Molineres anymore in the show, but it’s great to see them moving on with their life.

Why Were They Arrested?

Interestingly enough, it isn’t rare for the cast of “Swamp People” to get involved in legal issues, hence why it isn’t surprising that RJ and Jay Paul Molinere have followed in their former co-star’s steps as well.

As it happened, the father and son duo were arrested in August 2013, after being accused of assaulting a man in Louisiana. According to reports, the Molineres and the man of unrevealed identity first had a not-so-kind encounter while on the road, but the incident took a bad turn when the pair followed him to a nearby store, and allegedly attacked him with a beer bottle before leaving the scene, leaving the man with a broken lip and a black eye.

It took some weeks for the incident to escalate, but in early September, the Molineres finally turned themselves into authorities after being accused of aggravated battery and were released with a $1,000 bond.

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Later in October of that year, the father and son duo said in court that the man they had allegedly attacked was the real culprit of the attack. They pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, but further information about the case wasn’t known. Nevertheless, it’s safe to assume the duo’s legal battle turned in their favor, given how they were facing up to 13 years in prison, if found guilty.

How Did They Get In The Show?

The Molineres take family matters very seriously, especially when it comes to hunting gators. According to an interview the pair gave to Pow Wows in 2012, the Molineres are Houma natives, meaning that harvesting and hunting gators is an essential part of their culture, and a means of survival for them, passed down from generation to generation.

Though gator hunting was suspended in the late 1960s, several environmental changes and regulations allowed the activity to be resumed later in 1979. During those times of inactivity, RJ was unable to learn how to catch gators by himself but quickly learned the basics of it from his mother, following that path for several decades onwards and continuing the tradition once his son Jay Paul was old enough to catch gators as well.

Given his vast experience in hunting, RJ was the show’s producers’ first choice when they grew interested in having a Native American join “Swamp People”. RJ accepted the offer with the sole condition of having Jay Paul join as well, and producers had no option but to say yes. That turned out more than well for everyone in the end, as RJ and Jay Paul didn’t take long to become fan favorites.

What Happened To The Show?

While many reality shows come and go all the time, there’s no doubt that “Swamp People” has become one of the most memorable factual TV shows of the last decade. From the first season’s premiere in 2010, “Swamp People” became a favorite in the genre of reality TV in the US and internationally, eventually premiering several spin-off series, as well as video games.

The success achieved by “Swamp People” has extended to their stars as well, gaining them thousands of followers on social media, and features in other series such as “The Queen Latifah Show”. Considering all of that, it’s unsurprising that “Swamp People” has kept a very stable spot on TV, with its latest season being aired in early 2023.

Though it’s unclear whether the Molineres will return to the show, there’s no denying that “Swamp People” and all its cast members have left an indelible mark on their viewers.

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As a Freelance Writer at Biography Pedia, I manage every aspect of our content creation, from rigorous research to narrative excellence, ensuring precision and integrity in our work. Our comprehensive editorial management includes deep investigation, narrative development, and maintaining high standards of quality.

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