Jacques O’Neill Says Becoming a Part of Love Island was “The Worst Decision of My Life”

Jacques O’Neill Says Becoming a Part of Love Island was “The Worst Decision of My Life”

Jacques O’Neill, ex-contestant for Love Island speaks out on quitting the ITV2 reality TV show, and participating in it to be “the worst decision of my life.”

The 23-year-old left the villa after a spat with OG contestant Adam Collard over partner Paige Thorne. 

After his questionable behavior in Casa Amor came to light, he still attempted to win back Paige. However, despite multiple emotional and heartfelt conversations, O’Neill exited the show on 12th July.

Speaking out after leaving the show for the first time regarding his decision to leave, Jacques told 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.”

He also said:

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

According to him, “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. 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 at 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.”

Paige and JacquesIt’s been a difficult few days for Paige and Jacques

Jacques was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was nine. He 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 apologize, and she kept asking why I did it.” 

Jacques went on to say:

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

O’Neill said that the producers knew about his ADHD diagnosis and the fact that he was finding it hard to cope with the pressure of being on the show. 

The producers had even tried to coax him into going back to the villa, assuring him, “you’ll be fine,” and didn’t even give him back his phone for two days to call his mum.

jacquesJacques has left the villa.

According to a Love Island spokesperson:

“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, at any point in life, you experience distressing thoughts and feelings, you can reach out to Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Their timings are 5 pm to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact them on 0800 58 58 58 or use their webchat service if you’re more comfortable with chatting. 

Read up about Jacques O’Neill summing up his entire journey on Love Island in this Instagram post:

The 23-year-old was quite active on his Instagram during his time on the show and shared a photo with his partner Paige Thorne two weeks ago:

The rugby player even went along with teasing the viewers about the dumping on the show and shared a moment of Paige and himself escaping narrowly:

Here’s the most heartbreaking moment of Love Island as Jacques breaks the news to Paige Thorne:

Catch Love Island airing at 9 pm every day except Saturday on ITV and ITV2. If you cannot access the two channels, we are happy to tell you how to watch Love Island outside of the UK.

Jane Davies

Jane Davies

An entertainment enthusiast located in Austin. She is a tech geek, movie fan, and a dedicated binge-watcher. She is someone who enjoys keeping up with the current events and entertainment gossips.


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