Former Love Island star Sophie Gradon has died at the age of 32. Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong made the following statement on Facebook alongside a photograph of the two of them: "I will never forget that smile I love you so so much baby your my world forever ever and always." The former Miss Great Britain 2009 appeared on the ITV show in 2016. As the news broke, many former Love Island co-stars paid tribute to Sophie Gradon on Twitter.
In a statement issued to Bustle, Northumbria police confirmed the following: "At about 8.27 p.m. yesterday (June 20) police attended a property in Medburn, Ponteland, where sadly a 32-year-old woman was found deceased . There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death. A report will now be prepared for the coroner."
Commenting on the tragic news, an ITV spokesperson said in a statement to Bustle: "The whole ITV2 and Love Island team are profoundly saddened to hear the news about Sophie, and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go to her family and friends."
Gradon most recently posted on social media yesterday, June 20, where she shared her thoughts on the current season of Love Island. Many of the contestants who appeared with Gradon on the 2016 show have been quick to offer their condolences, with Cara de la Hoyde, Olivia Buckland, and Alex Bowen all taking to Twitter.
Gradon famously coupled up with Tom Powell for most of Love Island 2016, with the two continuing their relationship outside the villa. While Powell has yet to tweet about the news himself, he did retweet a message from former Geordie Shore star Holly Hagan.
Katie Salmon, who Gradon coupled up with after Powell left the villa, also tweeted her thoughts in a lengthy message, in which she said "Your smile will be remembered forever" and "my thoughts are with your family friends and love ones at this horrendous time. To young. To sweet. To kind. Am sending my love I truly am to everyone who ever had the pleasure of being in her company [sic]."
Zara Holland, another former Miss Great Britain who also appeared on Love Island 2016, shared the following message on Twitter along with pictures of the pair together: "I’m beyond heartbroken, I’m in shock. My gorgeous girl, why. you will be truly missed, I will think about you every single day. The nicest, kindest, caring, hard working girl I have ever met. Sending all my love to your family. I love you x"
The stars of Love Island 2017 were also quick to offer their condolences on Twitter:
The host of Love Island, Caroline Flack, also shared her sadness at the news, along with the official account for Miss Great Britain, which tweeted the following:
While it's not known exactly when Gradon began dating Armstrong, according to his Facebook, the pair listed their status as "In a Relationship" on Facebook on May 29. Gradon had shared updates about the couple's life on Twitter, most recently posting, "When the love of your life loves his dogs like this you know he’s the one. She’s cuddling him right back ... & those arms."
Since leaving the villa, Gradon engaged in varied work, including creating her own clothes collection with The Fashion Bible. She recently shared on Instagram her sadness at the loss of bar manager Paul Burns, who was reportedly known locally as Mr Newcastle. Writing on Instagram, she posted: "Today was all about you sweetheart. What an amazing send off for our Mr Newcastle @mrpaulburns1 Thank you for being there when you recognised I needed someone, you are a true saint. I only wish I had got to know you better. All my love and thoughts with your nearest and dearest."