Love Island’s Joe Garratt insists he didn’t ‘manipulate or abuse’ Lucie Donlan
Love Island’s Joe Garratt has vowed he did not abuse or manipulate Lucie Donlan.
The 22-year-old – who was dumped from the villa last night – raised concerns with his behaviour towards the 21-year-old surfer on the dating show.
He was accused of ‘gaslighting’ the ITV2 star, and telling her off over her close bond with Tommy Fury – with Women’s Aid speaking out over the outcry.
However, the sandwich maker insisted he did nothing wrong, and is ‘gutted’ it has been perceived like that.
‘I didn’t manipulate or abuse her,’ he said. ‘I am gutted that it has been perceived in that way because it wasn’t like that at all.’
Joe also claimed he had Lucie’s ‘best interests at heart’, and just wanted to make her experience ‘as amazing as possible’.
Despite all the complaints to Ofcom – which are mounting – the rejected contestant explained he will not be apologising for his behaviour while in the villa.
‘I am not going to say sorry,’ he added to the Sun. ‘I may have worded things wrong and the cameras are on you 24/7. I may have slipped up a bit but I am only human.
‘I am young and inexperienced so maybe some things have come out differently to what they are. I just hope people can see me for who I genuinely am and what I genuinely am. I am not that person.’
Joe was axed from the villa in a savage double elimination on yesterday’s show, alongside Elma Pazar.
‘I’ve definitely fallen for the girl so yeah, I do hope there’s a future for us,’ he said on his exit.
‘Me and Lucie definitely had a lot more to give, but it is what it is. You just have to take it.’
It was claimed he had been sent to a ‘safe-house’ to be prepped for any oncoming onslaught from fans following ‘gaslighting’ allegations.
His relationship with Lucie left viewers at home divided, with many slamming Joe over his ‘controlling’ behaviour – and some even comparing him to stalker Joe Goldberg from Netflix series You.
In an earlier instalment of the ITV2 dating show, he was seen pulling her aside to berate the ITV2 star over her closeness to Tommy, suggesting she should spend more time with the girls instead.
‘I’m not happy with it. It’s strange,’ he fumed. ‘I think it’s time for you to get close with the girls.’
Discussing the scenes, Women’s Aid, with co-chief executive Adina Claire stated: ‘Controlling behaviour is never acceptable, and with Love Island viewers complaining to Ofcom in record numbers about Joe’s possessive behaviour towards Lucie, more people are becoming aware of this and want to challenge it.
‘Abusive relationships often start off with subtle signs of control, so it’s important that it is recognised at an early stage.
‘Love Island viewers are now very vocal in calling out unhealthy behaviour between couples on the show, and this is a positive development.’
Following the outpouring of concern, Lucie’s mum, Cellie Donlan, has shut down thoughts that her daughter could be in trouble and actually praised Love Island for the treatment plan they’ve put in place to care for islanders and their families.
‘Lucie should stay on the show. We’ve got no worries over her what so ever, she’s very happy,’ she told Mail Online.
‘The support given to her and us as a family by ITV has been amazing.’
Love Island continues daily, at 9pm, on ITV2.
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