Love Island star Jacques O’Neill speaks out after shock exit – as show says it takes duty of care ‘extremely seriously’ | Ents & Arts News

Love Island have said they take their duties of looking after the contestants “extremely seriously” after star Jacques O’Neill said appearing on the show was “the worst decision of my life” in an interview given after the shock of his early departure.

The 23-year-old chose to end his time in the TV mansion following controversies over popular episodes of Casa Amor, which saw new “blockbuster” contestants introduced.

In the emotional scenes that aired earlier this week, he told the rest of them Love Island hope that he feels he is not himself.

“I’m trying my best but I’m not a fake and I’m not going to start faking things and acting like I’m fine when things aren’t really okay inside,” he said.

Original Love Island contestants: Dami Hope, Paige Thorne.  Amber Beckford, Luca Bish, Tasha Ghouri, Ikenna Ekwonna, Davide Sanclimenti, Gemma Owen, Liam Llewellyn, Indiyah Polack.  Pic: Lifting Entertainment / ITV

Now, in a new interview with The Sun that he shares on social media, Jacques has talked about his mental health struggles with ADHD and said that he “couldn’t cope” in the TV mansion, adding: “Doing Love Island was the worst decision of my life.”

In his interview, Jacques said: “I was ready to break down. I felt so exhausted mentally, I just wanted to go home and settle down.”

“It broke me and I broke down. I cried without tears. I couldn’t cope. I really felt terrible. It was the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my life.”

A Love Island spokesperson told Sky News that the show had “rigorous and extensive testing” to check the physical and mental health of contestants before being approved for the program. “This is something we take very seriously,” they added.

When announcing his departure from the Love Island group, Jacques said he felt it was best to leave because of his relationship with Paige Thorne, 24, so he could be at his “best” for her.

It comes after the rugby player spent days trying to win her back after it was revealed he kissed newcomer Cheyanne Kerr while Paige was away at Casa Amor.

After those scenes, Love Island reintroduced Adam Collard – a controversial contestant who appeared in the series earlier in 2018 – who showed an interest in Paige.

Speaking to The Sun, Jacques said he was starting to feel like “things could go horribly wrong”.

He continued: “At home, you can remove yourself from situations, but there you have to face every situation, and at that moment I removed my microphone and went straight through the front door because I just wanted to get out of there. place.”

Jacques, from Leeds, flew back to the UK on Tuesday and stopped at his former rugby club, Castleford Tigers, on Wednesday.

A few days before entering the villa, the rugby club confirmed his release of contract to participate in the reality show – confirming that they would have the first option of re-signing with him if he wants to continue his rugby career.

Speaking of Jacques leaving the hit show to protect his mental health, head coach Lee Radford said: “Like any walk of life, unfortunately, there are obstacles ahead. You. Make sure that people around you – whether it’s your family or your club – to help you deal with that is pretty important.”

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In May 2019 ITV released a new comprehensive set of care protocols on duty ahead of the fifth series.

They updated those processes for the most recent series and started inclusion training, including language and behavior, for contestants before they even entered the villa.

In their full statement to Jacques’s interview, a Love Island spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment on any individual’s medical records due to confidentiality and obligation. We take care of the Islanders, however we do rigorous and extensive testing to assess the Physical and Mental Health of the Islanders before being cleared to enter the Villa. something we take very seriously.

“As we said at the time, Jacques has made the decision to leave and we respect that decision. Islanders are welcome to leave if they choose to do so and we never will. pressure someone to stay at the Villa.”

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