The Real Reason Why Jacques O'Neill Left 'Love Island'

Leila Kozma - Author
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Jul. 18 2022, Updated 12:05 p.m. ET

One pro rugby player's tempestuous journey on Season 8 of Love Island U.K. officially came to an end during the episode that aired on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

Jacques O'Neill quit the hit reality TV show following a clash with fellow Love Island U.K. contestant Adam Collard over partner Paige Thorne. But since his exit, he has shed a light on some other factors that also influenced his decision to leave. Keep scrolling for more on Jacques' departure.

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"I just want to get home, be myself again, and carry things on the outside," Jacques O'Neill explained on 'Love Island U.K.'

Jacques, whose list of ex-girlfriends includes fellow Season 8 contestant Gemma Owen, extrapolated on his decision to leave the villa in the episode airing on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Jacques has struggled to be himself in the camera-filled environment. Notably, he lashed out at Billy Brown and struggled to keep things level with Adam Collard.

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"Lately, I just can't be myself. I'm trying my best, but I'm not a fake person, and [I'm not good at] faking things and acting like I'm OK when things inside aren't actually OK. So, I'll be leaving today," Jacques said. "I just can't stick around."

"It's not fair to me and it's definitely not fair to Paige," he added. "For me and Paige to work I need to be at my best. If that means removing myself from the situation, and waiting for Paige when she gets out, then that's what I'm going to do."

Jacques O'Neill and fellow 'Love Island U.K.' star Paige Thorne seemed to be doing OK. Why did Paige not leave with him?

Jacques decided to leave the Love Island U.K. to focus on himself and wait for a better opportunity for him and Paige Thorne, his current partner on the show, to continue pursuing their relationship.

Paige seemed to be supportive of Jacques's decision. She didn't offer to leave with him, however, which tipped off some viewers. She has also agreed to go on a date with Adam, Jacques's nemesis, which has garnered some strong reactions.

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Jacques O'Neil also said his ADHD played a role in his departure from the villa.

After exiting the villa, Jacques exclusively spoke with The Sun about how his ADHD also heavily influenced his exit. Triggered by the fact that Paige had agreed to go on a date with Adam, he was afraid that if he didn't exit the show soon, things might get physical.

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“At home you can remove yourself from situations, but in there you had to deal with every situation, and in that moment I took my microphone off and walked straight through the front doors because I just wanted to get out of that place," he said.

He continued: “Producers tried coming to me, they were like, ‘Jacques, are you OK?' I was saying, ‘I don’t want to speak to you or anyone. I want to be left to myself.’ It was too much."

He also commented on his conversation with Paige before he stormed out. "I know the way I spoke to Paige was wrong. I tried to apologize and she kept asking why I did it. ADHD isn’t just about not being able to concentrate. It’s also about feeling anxious quite a lot, being on edge a lot."

As he further explained, the experience was all too real for him. "It was genuine feelings involved, and my headspace wasn’t right," he concluded.

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When he first walked out of the villa, he was kept in a separate apartment with a security guard and two producers until his official exit on Tuesday, July 12. During that time, he did not have his phone and wasn't able to get in contact the outside world. But unfortunately, he managed to search for his name on the internet using the TV, and the results weren't pretty.

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"I wish I didn't, because the way I felt googling my name and seeing everyone hating me, I didn't know what to do with myself," he said, adding "I didn't sleep that night, I just stayed awake, because I was so scared of going out [of] that villa and going home and even facing people in the street," he said.

Jacques also admits to knocking on one of the producer's door in the middle of the night: "I just felt awful about myself, and I just wanted someone to tell me it was going to be OK."

Currently, Jacques is now back at home with his mother in Leeds. It is unknown where his relationship with Paige stands; however, she did end up sharing a kiss with Adam following Jacques' departure.

Love Island U.K. is available to stream on Hulu.

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