Love Island “bully” Joe Garratt has furiously refused to apologise after leaving on-screen partner Lucie Donlan in tears – insisting: “I have nothing to be sorry for.”
Speaking for the first time exclusively to The Sun, the sandwich maker, 22, insisted he was heartbroken after learning horrified viewers had condemned his actions – and has blamed it on his “heightened” emotions in the villa.
Joe Garratt has insisted that he never tried to control on-screen partner Lucie Donlan[/caption]
After arriving back in the UK the reality star attempted to defend his behaviour despite hundreds of formal complaints and a raft of criticism from abuse charities.
But in a desperate bid to hit back, Joe blasted: “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 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.”
During his time in the villa Joe was accused of being abusive to tearful Lucie Donlan – who was seen in floods of tears almost every night on the show.
He told us: “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.
“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.”
The sandwich maker’s eviction meant the couple were separated[/caption]
He admitted: “I didn’t know how I was coming across on the outside. I had no idea that I was being perceived in that sense.”
Alarm bells first went off with viewers after Tommy recoupled with Lucie and furious Joe showed the first signs of being controlling despite knowing her for just a few days.
But he denies he was jealous, saying he was simply trying to “do right by her”.
He said: “For me I was gutted. I had literally met a girl straight away and she blew me away. She is an amazing person.
Joe insists that he has always tried to ‘do right’ by Lucie[/caption]
“It’s hard because on the outside the relationship would build and you would talk frequently and meet once a week and it was like I had these two days with her and they were so fantastic and we got on so well and then you have the spanner chucked in.
“I think the intense nature of it all and when fellow Islanders said stuff to me – it would never bother me normally – but because you are in there and you get told things constantly you are like ‘am I OK with these things’ and I generally was but you feel that heightened pressure and you have these conversations and you have to address things.”
In further distressing scenes Lucie, 21, broke down after Joe told her to stay away from the other boys – in particular hunky boxer Tyson Fury’s brother Tommy.
Joe insists he’s “gutted” about what viewers have seen because he had “the best time” with Lucie in the villa..
Joe has been accused of being ‘abusive’ to Lucie by viewers[/caption]
He said: “It’s a shocker because we did get on so well and everyone can see that. I think because she chose me on recoupling that shows how well we got on – it’s one of those things that I didn’t expect because of how well we bonded.”
The ITV2 show was plunged into crisis over Joe’s controlling nature as Women’s Aid slammed him and horrified fans called on ITV bosses to step in to help tormented Lucie.
The surfer’s misery on the show as she was reduced to tears most nights and the failure of producers to come to her aid triggered a flood of Twitter protests and more than 600 complaints to TV watchdog Ofcom.
Women’s Aid slammed the sandwich maker, saying: “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,” Adina Claire, Co-Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said.
Joe told Lucie to spend less time with boxer Tommy Fury[/caption]
“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.”
But Joe is convinced his behaviour can’t have been that bad because he would have been kicked out like axed contestant Sherif.
“If it was how people said it was I would have been removed,” he said. “They do take precautions in there.”
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Joe – who was completely oblivious to the outcry – has been struggling to understand why viewers might have found him controlling, he mused: “Lucie is an emotional girl. I think 100% Lucie will be shocked.
“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.”
Joe on the Islanders
Anton: He is such a genuine guy. I hope that is coming across now.
Curtis: He’s a good friend. We had great chats and he’d come to me for good advice.
Amy: I thought we got on. If she’s gone back and said other things to other people that would be heartbreaking.
Maura: She had to come in and shake things up. She is so close with Lucie and I was so appreciate of her friendship.
Tommy: We had such good fun. We bonded over everything and laughed constantly.
Yewande: Such a nice girl. A great person!
Danny: Such a caring dude. He’s younger than me but he seems so mature.
Amber: She’s very straight talking which I respect.
Michael: Nice dude, so down to earth. We are going to move in together when he gets out.
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