Love Island viewers shocked by age difference between Gemma and ex-boyfriend Jacques

·2-min read

Jacques O’Neill made a dramatic entrance to the Love Island villa on Sunday (12 June) as it was revealed he is Gemma Owen’s ex-boyfriend.

It transpired that the pair had dated for eight months, Gemma said, breaking up a year and a half ago, which had viewers scrambling to do the maths on their ages at the time of their relationship. Gemma is this year’s youngest contestant, aged just 19, while Jacques is 23.

“Gemma just turned 19 and broke up with this man 1.5 years ago when she was 17 and a half. She dated him for 8 months which mean she started dating this man at 16 when he was 20??????” one fan concluded on Twitter.

“Must be weird for Jacques. He hasn’t seen Gemma since she was a child,” comedian Michael Fry joked.

Questioning why none of the other islanders had mentioned it, one fan wrote: “Have none of them done the math on Jacques and Gemma’s relationship timeline?”

Viewers had previously criticised the age gap between Gemma and Davide Sanclimenti, 27, who was paired up with the daughter of former England footballer Michael Owen until Luca Bish chose her in the last recoupling.


One person wrote on Twitter: “19 and 27 is a mad age gap,” with another writing: “Nah, Gemma’s age means I can’t see her with any of them. Just feels wrong.”

Many fans have now suggested that Love Island impose a minimum age requirement on contestants.

“Please please please have a minimum age requirement of 21. I don’t want to see a 19-year-old kissing someone who’s pushing 30,” said one person.

Gemma Owen and Jacques O’Neill (ITV)
Gemma Owen and Jacques O’Neill (ITV)

In response to the conversation surrounding age gaps on the programme, The Independent’s Laura Hampston has researched into when age gaps in relationships become inappropriate.

Love Island continues on ITV2 at 9pm every night except Saturdays.

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