Love Island's Joe Garrett has responded to criticism of his behaviour on the show. One of the most recent contestants to be dumped from the villa, aspects of Joe's behaviour towards his partner Lucie drew backlash from viewers and charity Women's Aid, who called it "possessive". After leaving the show on Monday, Joe gave an interview with The Sun in which he addressed the criticism.
Prior to his departure, Joe was coupled up with Lucie Donlan, and viewers had expressed concern over his actions towards her, which some deemed "emotionally abusive". Notably, domestic abuse charity Women's Aid, accused Joe of "possessive behaviour towards Lucie."
But when asked about the accusations, Joe said he totally disagreed with the notion that he had been possessive or abusive. “I am gutted that it has been perceived in that way because it wasn’t like that at all," he told The Sun, adamant that he "didn’t manipulate or abuse" Lucie.
“I always had Lucie’s best interests at heart and I promise you I would do everything and anything to help her because she had a hard time in there and didn’t get on with the girls. I was trying to help her and make her experience as amazing as possible. I thought I did right," the former contestant added.
Joe also added that he didn't feel the need to apologise, as he believes that once Lucie comes out of the villa, she'll be sympathetic. "I am confident she will look at it and be like that is not Joe at all. She will look at it and say that is not the Joe I met, that is not the Joe I know. I think she will be upset about what has come out because it is not me,” he told The Sun.
As Joe left the villa, his family members who took over his Instagram account during his time on the show, also defended him from the criticism.
"Speaking on behalf of Joe’s best friends, we acknowledge Joe will come out to some warranted criticism. However, we deem the majority of it to be unfair and non representative of Joe’s true character. The producers have the ability to show someone in a particular light, choosing just 45 mins of footage from 24 hours to tell a certain narrative."
A spokesperson for Love Island also told Closer online that they monitored the behaviour of contestants "robustly".
"We take the emotional well-being of all the Islanders extremely seriously," they said.
"We have dedicated welfare producers and psychological support on hand at all times who monitor and regularly speak to all of the Islanders in private and off camera, especially if someone appears to be upset.
"All the Islanders are therefore fully supported by the professionals on site and by their friends in the villa. This means Islanders are always able to reach out and talk to someone if they feel the need. We will of course continue to monitor all of our Islanders in line with our robust protocols.
If you've been affected by any of the issues discussed in this piece, contact domestic abuse charity Refuge on 0808 2000 247 or visit their website here.