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Jacques O'Neill Says Love Island Was 'Worst Decision Of My Life' After Quitting

Jacques O'Neill Says Love Island Was 'Worst Decision Of My Life' After Quitting

Love Island star Jacques O’Neill said that producers pressed him to carry on with the show

Jacques O'Neill has said that going on Love Island was the 'worst decision of his life' after quitting the show last week.

The 23-year-old left the villa following a bust-up with OG bombshell Adam Collard over partner Paige Thorne.

He attempted to win back Paige after his questionable behaviour in Casa Amor was exposed, but after many emotional conversations, the rugby player decided to leave the villa on 12 July.

And now, for the first time speaking out about his decision, Jacques said to The Sun: “Doing Love Island was the worst decision of my life. I was ready to break down.

“I was feeling so mentally drained, I just wanted to go home and get myself right. It broke me and I was already broken. I was crying my eyes out. I couldn’t cope.

“I was literally feeling awful. It was the worst I’d ever felt in my life.”

He added: "I watched the Casa Amor episodes to torture myself and look at my actions. I was disgusted in myself, I understand the hate. I’m feeling quite numb.

“I will wait for Paige on the outside, but I’m not watching the show again, I can’t do it.”

Jacques continued: “I thought if I don’t get myself out things could go horribly wrong and I could get physical.

“At home you can remove yourself from situations, but in there you had to deal with every situation, and in that moment I took my microphone off, and walked straight through the front doors because I just wanted to get out of that place.

“Producers tried coming to me, they were like, ‘Jacques, are you OK?, I was saying, ‘I don’t want to speak to you or anyone. I want to be left to myself’. It was too much.

“I was saying to them, ‘This is more than a TV show to me’, it was genuine feelings involved and my headspace wasn’t right to be in a TV show.

“I dealt with stuff in there that I’ve never dealt with in my life.”

Jacques, who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was nine, said: “Any little thing in the villa, in the end, started bothering me and I was just getting in so much of a rut.

“I know the way I spoke to Paige was wrong. I tried to apologise and she kept asking why I did it.

“ADHD isn’t just about not being able to concentrate. It’s also about feeling anxious quite a lot, being on edge a lot.”

A Love Island spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on any individual’s medical records owing to confidentiality and our own duty of care towards the islanders, however we have rigorous and extensive checks in place to assess islanders’ physical and mental health in advance of being cleared to enter the villa. This is something we take extremely seriously.  

“As we said at the time, Jacques made the decision to leave and we respected that decision.

“Islanders are welcome to leave should they choose to do so and we would never put pressure on someone to stay in the villa.”

If you're experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They're open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you're not comfortable talking on the phone 

Featured Image Credit: ITV/@jacques9oneill_/Instagram

Topics: Love Island