Mario was suspended from filming the ITVBe show ahead of their Marbella trip over allegations he'd been promoting diet pills via his social media accounts.
Now, co-star Gemma has spoken to The Sun about him:
"I really like Mario but he gets a bit of a rough ride. The way I look at it, it is no secret we earn £150 a day on TOWIE. It is not a bad thing because it has given us a platform and we will never take it for granted but when the show is off air, the guys have to make money."
Gemma went on to say the girls have their fashion lines and business, while the guys have personal appearances to earn them money.
As for the tweets Mario is alleged to have sent, she said:
"People get paid to tweet, that is the industry we are in, and Mario doesn't maybe realise the impact diet pills can have on people."
Mario hasn't addressed the reasons behind his suspension, only confirming via Twitter at the end of May that he would not be joining his co-stars in Marbs.
A producer recently told The Sun he was hopeful Mario would return to the show.
"We have to be very strict about [the tweets]. We hope Mario will be back but if he isn't, we will be perfectly fine with that."
Mario is currently sunning himself on holiday in Portugal with girlfriend Emma McVey, while the TOWIE gang are preparing to wrap up their Marbella adventure and fly back to Essex.
TOWIE returns Sunday, 14 June at 10pm on ITVBe.
Ten reasons we want to be on TOWIE!