Joe Garratt has broken his silence about being accused of ‘gaslighting’ Lucie Donlan, after his dramatic exit from Love Island on Tuesday.
The sandwich maker, 22, refused to apologise for his behaviour, insisting he didn’t ‘manipulate or abuse’ the surfer, 21, who he was coupled up with on the show, and is ‘gutted’ about how he has been perceived.
It comes after nearly 800 viewers complained to TV watchdog Ofcom after he told Lucie her friendship with Tommy Fury was ‘weird’ and she should spend more time with the girls, rather than the boys, which reduced her to tears.
His side of the story: Joe Garratt has broken his silence about being accused of ‘gaslighting’ Lucie Donlan, after his dramatic exit from Love Island on Tuesday
Upon his arrival in Britain, he told The Sun: ‘I didn’t manipulate or abuse her, I am gutted that it has been perceived in that way because it wasn’t like that at all, I always had Lucie’s best interests at heart.
‘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.
Refusing to apologise, he added: ‘I am not going to say sorry, 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.’
Adamant: The sandwich maker, 22, refused to apologise for his behaviour, insisting he didn’t ‘manipulate or abuse’ Lucie, 21, who he was coupled up with on the show
Joe described himself as ‘young’ and ‘inexperienced’, which he believes attributed to ‘things coming out differently to what they are’.
He added he hopes the public will see him for who he ‘genuinely is’, and believes the ‘intense nature’ of the show is to blame for twisting the way things looked from the outside.
The new-found reality star said problems between himself and Lucie started when fellow islanders stirred the pot, which he claimed ‘heightened the pressure’, making him feel like he had to bring up the issues with Lucie.
Breaking his silence: Joe described himself as ‘young’ and ‘inexperienced’, which he believes attributed to ‘things coming out differently to what they are’
Immense: He added he hopes the public will see him for who he ‘genuinely is’, and believes the ‘intense nature’ of the show is to blame for twisting the way things looked from the outside
Joe’s original comments left Lucie in tears after he suggested she spend more time with the other girls in the villa. Speaking about her friendship with Tommy, Joe said to her: ‘I’m not happy with it. It’s strange. I think it’s time for you to get close with the girls.’
This led to a slew of complaints to Ofcom, with charity Women’s Aid issuing warnings about the signals in a relationship.
Adina Claire, Co-Chief Executive of the charity said in a statement: ‘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.’
Lucie was left in tears by Joe’s shock exit and said she was ‘gutted’ to now be in the villa by herself, shortly before contemplating her departure. ‘I’m just gutted,’ she said. ‘Because you could clearly see me and Joe and feelings for each other.’
Making a solemn promise to the surfer when it was revealed he was set to leave the show and jet home to the UK, Joe said: ‘I found you and you’re an absolute dream. I promise you I’ll literally be waiting for you outside. Give me a kiss.’
Uploading a picture of Joe and Lucie to Instagram, Joe’s loved ones reflected: ‘After that nailbiting vote, Joe has unfortunately left the Love Island villa.
‘We want to thank all of Joe’s followers for their endless support. We also want to wish the remaining islanders the best of luck in the rest of the programme, especially @lucierosedonlan who Joe genuinely cares for and enjoyed his time with.
‘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.
‘Joe will know he is coming home to the best family and group of friends about. We are all buzzing to see our boy. But from #thesandwichman…. that’s a wrap ♥️’.
A Love Island spokesperson denied the claims footage was edited unfairly, saying: ‘What airs on Love Island is a fair and accurate representation of what happens in the villa.’