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20 June 2019, 11:38 | Updated: 20 June 2019, 12:17
Joe Garratt has spoken for the first time since being the first contestant dumped from Love Island
Joe Garratt has broken his silence since leaving the Love Island villa amid widespread criticism of what many saw as 'controlling' behaviour toward Lucie Donlan and he's thanked a bodyguard that's in charge of keeping him safe.
Speaking with a tabloid, Joe expressed his sadness at the way he was portrayed on screen, saying: "I didn’t manipulate or abuse her."
"I am gutted that it has been perceived in that way because it wasn’t like that at all. I always had Lucie’s best interests at heart and I promise you I would do everything and anything to help her because she had a hard time in there and didn’t get on with the girls."
"I was trying to help her and make her experience as amazing as possible. I thought I did right."
View this post on Instagram
After that nailbiting vote, Joe has unfortunately left the Love Island villa♥️🏝We want to thank all of Joe’s followers for their endless support. We also want to wish the remaining islanders the best of luck in the rest of the programme, especially @lucierosedonlan who Joe genuinely cares for and enjoyed his time with💚🏄♀️ Speaking on behalf of Joe’s best friends, we acknowledge Joe will come out to some warranted criticism. However, we deem the majority of it to be unfair and non representative of Joe’s true character. The producers have the ability to show someone in a particular light, choosing just 45 mins of footage from 24 hours to tell a certain narrative. Joe will know he is coming home to the best family and group of friends about. We are all buzzing to see our boy. But from #thesandwichman.... that’s a wrap ♥️🏝🌯
His friends and family also spoke out on his behalf on his Instagram page during his absence, writing that, although they understand some of the criticism he faced was justified, but the enormous backlash he's received which includes a women's charity was unnecessary.
They wrote: "Speaking on behalf of Joe’s best friends, we acknowledge Joe will come out to some warranted criticism. However, we deem the majority of it to be unfair and non representative of Joe’s true character."
"The producers have the ability to show someone in a particular light, choosing just 45 mins of footage from 24 hours to tell a certain narrative."
We previously hadn't heard anything from the 22-year-old sandwich maker from South London since he was booted off the island, until he posted an Instagram story back in the country, and thanking the bodyguard that kept him safe on the journey back.
He also posted a snap of him enjoying a Nando's with his brother, Josh and mate Levi, but not directly addressed the public backlash against him.
Former islander Chris Hughes has stepped in to defend him, tweeting a clap back to Women's Aid who used him as an example of 'controlling behaviour' and 'spotting the early warning signs.'
This is actually quite sickening you’re happy to contribute to online hate towards someone. Really feel for Joe, doesn’t deserve the lumps being thrown his way. Quite sad this world we live in. Regardless of people’s views, it’s not a very fun world to be in right now for him. 🖤 https://t.co/l6XXYCS9tL— Chris Hughes (@chrishughes_22) June 19, 2019
For all the latest gossip from the Villa, download and subscribe to the official Love Island: The Morning After podcast. Available on Global Player, the Love Island App or ask Alexa to play the ‘Love Island Podcast’.