'Love Island' fans praise Jacques for quitting show to focus on mental health

Jacques O'Neill has left Love Island. (ITV)
Jacques O'Neill has left Love Island. (ITV)

Love Island viewers have praised controversial contestant Jacques O'Neill for choosing to prioritise his mental health by quitting the show.

Rugby player Jacques, 23, was announced to have left the villa on Tuesday and in that evening's episode, scenes showed him explaining that he had been struggling with recent events and needed to leave to "get back to himself".

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He had rowed with bombshell contestant Adam Collard, who made a comeback to the series after first appearing in season four, over attention he had paid to Jacques' partner Paige Thorne - although some of his behaviour towards her had made viewers uncomfortable.

Jacques had come under fire from the show's fans for kissing other contestants during the Casa Amor week and then getting angry with Paige that she had been talking to another man.

Fellow Islander Remi Lambert, who has already been dumped from the show, had accused Jacques of bullying over some of his aggressive outbursts.

But viewers praised Jacques for leaving to concentrate on his mental health, despite previous controversies.

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One fan tweeted: "Jacques head was gone. Mental health is real and it was inspiring to see him open up. He has made mistakes in the villa, no doubt, but tonight he has hopefully helped struggling men around the world open up to there friends and family. Hats off to you man seriously."

Paige and Jacques spoke to the rest of the group. (ITV)
Paige and Jacques spoke to the rest of the group. (ITV)

Another fan commented on an emotional conversation between Jacques and friend Luca Bish: "To see 2 men crying to eachother on tv i think is super important! Jacques looking out for his own mental health is super admirable."

Someone else wrote: "I was barely holding it together until Jacques and Luca started crying, it doesn't matter whether you liked Jacques or you didn't, what he is going through has clearly messed up his mental health, I seriously hope Jacques will be okay on the outside."

Another viewer said: "Jacques O'Neill has spent his life in the most macho environments possible. His #LoveIsland exit will break down boundaries surrounding male mental health and for that he should be applauded, not chastised."

Jacques says goodbye to Paige. (ITV)
Jacques says goodbye to Paige. (ITV)

Many viewers also posted photos of former contestants Sophie Gradon, Mike Thalassitis and former host Caroline Flack who all took their own lives, reminding people to take Jacques' struggles seriously.

One tweeted: "Go easy on jacques, his mental health will deteriorate and do not forget how these people were treated."

Someone else added: "While we’re not the biggest fans of Jacques’ actions, lets try to be kinder thinking of these souls tonight."

But others were not so quick to forget Jacques' actions in the villa.

One viewer tweeted: "Nobody was worried about Remi mental health when he was saying Jacques was a bully."

Someone else wrote: "If Jacques really is an emotional manipulator consider me emotionally manipulated after that ending."

Watch: Jacques O'Neill quit Love Island as he 'couldn't be himself'