Six Love Island stars have spoken out against the show, claiming it left them feeling “suicidal” after they were treated like “performing monkeys”.
Alex Miller, Malin Andersson, Josh Denzel , Paul Knops, Callum MacLeod and Adam Collard teamed up for a scathing article that accuses bosses of pulling strings behind the scenes.
The stars say they were left feeling depressed and anxious after their time on the show, and they’ve decided to speak out in the wake of the tragic suicides of former stars Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.
The deaths sparked a debate over the way Islanders were treated during their time in the villa, and the aftercare they received on the outside, with changes being made to the way stars were looked after once they’d left the show.
Following Mike’s death earlier this year, ITV released a lengthy statement about the care they provide.
In it, they said: “Our duty of care is a continuous and ongoing process for each Islander. This follows three key stages; pre-filming, filming, and aftercare. We work with both an independent GP and a psychological consultant to provide an assessment of the physical and mental health of each of the shortlisted cast members and their suitability for inclusion on the programme.”
They added: “We have a medical team on location which includes a psychological consultant. They not only look after Islanders’ healthcare needs, but also monitor them to check that there are no emerging signs of any problems developing whilst they are in the villa. Additionally, several of our senior team, who monitor the cast around the clock, have been trained in mental health first aid.”
But now, six former villa inhabitants have spoken against the show.
Alex Miller says he struggled to adjust to real life after his romance with Megan Barton-Hanson in the villa last year.
He told The Ringer that he began having suicidal thoughts after his 15 minutes of fame ran out and he had to return to his job in construction.
He said: “I never thought I would get into that mind frame. But I would be driving to work, contemplating ending things.”
Alex says he was put in touch with a psychologist by Love Island bosses.
Alex had spoken about his feelings before.
He previously told the Standard : “From a Love Island perspective probably about five months after I was out of the villa and it had all died down and I was in a bit of a dark place and partying too much, I did have a rant on here and one of the Love Island producers got in touch and put me back in touch with a psychiatrist.”
Malin Andersson has been through a tough time since she appeared on the show in 2016 alongside Sophie.
She accused bosses of orchestrating the show and said they were “like performing monkeys for them”.
Adam Collard, who appeared on the show last year, claimed he was told to steal someone’s girlfriend when he entered the villa.
He said: “They interviewed me, they knew my personality, and then they put me in the villa and said, ‘You’ve got 48 hours [to steal someone’s girl], otherwise you’re gone’.”
Adam says he was warned about the bad press he’d get, but that it would do his career “a world of good” if he could “cope with this mentally”.
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Callum MacLeod, who was on the show this year, spoke out to confirm that Islanders do get aftercare when they leave.
He said they were made to watch a video about trolling, made by former Islanders and detailing what life would be like once they left the villa.
Josh Denzel, who appeared on the show last year, said receiving negative comments online was hard to deal with.
He says even his friends who were running his account stopped posting because they found it too hard to deal with.
Paul Knops, who was on the show last year, said he’d suffered from axiety.
He said: “You go through anxiety. It can be pretty stressful. And then you go back to your own home, and there’s no one really to talk to about what you’ve been through. It all comes down to dealing with stuff on your own, and not everyone’s great at that.”
However, many Islanders have defended the show in the past.
Olivia Buckland, who appeared on the second series, told the Daily Mail : “I was in constant contact with the producers for a very long time. I got offered psychological tests when I got out. I got offered counselling when I got out. I got a list of agencies. Honestly, they really did look after me, and Alex. They always checked in with us, and I’m still good friends with them now. Love Island is there for you if you need them.”
Megan Barton-Hanson, from series four, told The Sun : “When I came out of the villa ITV sat down with me and went through everything that had happened to make sure I was prepared. I don’t blame ITV for any of this – they’ve been amazing.
“They are in regular contact and whenever anything difficult happens they make an extra special effort to check in on you to see if you’re OK. I’ve got the number of the show’s psychologist in my phone and I know I can call her whenever I need to.”
Alex George, from series four, told ITV News: “I can only talk about my own personal experience of course, and I’ve felt that when I’ve asked for help, I’ve received it.”
Olivia Attwood , from series three, wrote in her New! magazine column: “I think when you put yourself in a situation like this, it’s always a risk and you need to decide whether you’re strong enough to do it.
“I’ve been subject to a lot of negative comments from trolls in the past year, but the only point it really got to me was when I first came out. Chris was elevated so much in the press, whereas I was a bit hated. It was a lot to deal with because I knew a side to Chris that no one else had seen. But even then ITV were so supportive to me.
“My advice to Islanders coming out is to brace yourself and keep as much normality as you possibly can because I always say to myself that this isn’t your real world. You’ve got to keep things in perspective. You were happy and existed before you went on TV, so you should be happy and exist after it all goes away.”
Tom Powell, from series two, told The Sun : “The show was crazy. But they took care of us. Anyone who says otherwise is talking bulls**t. This morning Love Island called me and said I could call the psychologist who works for the show. They gave her new number. He was one of the first person to speak to us.
“After you leave the show you speak to the psychologist and you were always checking in with her.
“We had a lot of care after the show. They took great care of us.”
And Chris Hughes, from series three, said on Victoria Derbyshire: “Before the show you see a psychologist, and after the show before you head back to the show you see a psychologist.
“In the series that I was in you spoke to somebody before, and they make sure you’re fine, and during your time in the show, you can also speak to somebody. And then afterwards before we flew home to the UK, still when we’re within a duty of care from ITV, we have an opportunity to speak to somebody.
“We speak to them regardless, that’s set in stone. So they can prepare you for what to expect when you land back in England. One thing I will say is when I filmed another show with ITV, another reality show, mine and Olivia’s, we were given support by a psychologist there for whenever we wanted it and me and Olivia spent hours separately and together speaking to her because they were worried about that side of things with us. It’s obviously a massive help.”
* Love Island airs at 9pm on ITV2
* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com