A producer of Love Island has addressed claims Jacques O’Neill was asked to leave the show.
Earlier this week, ITV announced that Jacques had quit the villa. In the following episode, the contestant broke the news to his fellow islanders.
The decision came after Jacques lost his temper over new arrival, former contestant Adam Collard.
After arriving in the villa, Adam expressed interest in Paige Thorne, whom Jacques was coupled up with.
Adam’s introducion on this year’s series came after a tough week for Jacques and Paige due to Jacques’ behaviourafter the annual Casa Amor twist.
Jacques ultimately decided to stick with Paige despite the fact he developed a bond with new contestant Cheyanne. Paige was swiftly told about Jacques’ antics away from her, following which she distanced herself from Jacques, who spent days trying to win her back.
After discovering Adam had “slagged” him off, Jacques got angry, branding the contestant “f***ing nothing”.
The next day, Jacques told Paige he was “struggling” and that he was disappointed in himself for letting his emotions take over. “I’m finding it hard in here,” he admitted, adding: “I’m trying to put a brave face on it but things are getting to me.
“I just wish I could finish my journey with you in here, but I’m gonna go home today.”
Many viewers were convinced that Jacques had been asked by producers to leave the villa due to concerns over his mental health. Others highlighted on Twitter that the other contestants didn’t seem all too surprised by Jacques’ decision to leave, and theorised that perhaps he had got even angrier with Adam in unaired scenes – another reason these viewers expressed the belief the show’s producers might have stepped in.
However, in a new interview with Deadline, executive producer Mike Spencer said this was not the case.
“Jacques is amazing; we love Jacques,” Spencer said. “When you date, your emotions are naturally up and down. Finding love is not a simple thing, that’s why the show is so relatable. Jacques was on his own journey and he had a strong connection with Paige but sometimes you have to think about yourself and that’s what Jacques did.
“We respected his decision to head home but I think he’s excited to be on Aftersun on Sunday to discuss his journey.”
Spencer continued: ”It’s not often talked about in the press but there are many crew who have worked on every single season. We take it very seriously and we have updated duty of care procedures. I think Jacques felt like his time was up and as producers we have to respect his decision.
“Adam came in and got on with a lot of the girls. Did that impact Jacques’ decision to leave? That would be something Jacques would have to explain.”
Jaxques will appear on Love Island discussion show Aftersun on Sunday (17 July).
Friday’s episode of the series (15 July) will find several couples on the rocks after movie night fills the contestants in on their respctive partners’ behaviour in Casa Amor.
Love Island airs at 9pm on ITV2 every day other than Saturdays.
Episodes are available to watch the following morning on BritBox.