Jacques Breaks Silence On Love Island Exit As He Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles
18 July 2022, 10:57
Jacques O’Neill revealed Love Island bosses tried to convince him to stay in the villa before his shock exit.
The rugby player, who was besotted with Paige Thorne on the show after getting two know her for a few weeks, made an emotional exit just a day after former contestant Adam Collard entered the villa and set his eyes on Paige.
Speaking about his exit for the first time, Jacques told this tabloid that he feared there could’ve been a physical altercation in the villa had he not left.
“I thought if I don’t get myself out things could go horribly wrong and I could get physical,” said Jacques.
The 23-year-old, who dated Gemma Owen before Love Island, went on to admit that he ‘couldn’t cope’ in the villa, adding: “Doing Love Island was the worst decision of my life.”
Jacques continued: “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.”
Recalling how he felt about the Adam situation, the former contestant added: “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,” he added.
After telling bosses he was ready to go, Jacques said that they tried to convince him to stay, telling him, ‘you’re doing great’, adding: “In the end I couldn’t deal with it, I wanted to get out of the place. I was crying, saying to them, ‘I’m ready to go home’.”
Jacques was kept in a separate apartment with a security guard and two producers after leaving the villa and got his phone back two days later, where he searched his name on the internet and admitted he was horrified to see ‘everyone hating me’.
Jacques' mum Janet Wright also revealed the unpleasant messages she received about her son, with people sending death threats to her: “I got horrible messages on Facebook, people saying they wished my son and I were dead. It was awful,” before adding that things got so bad she was forced to leave her home and stay with family.