Love Island producers have shut down rumours that Lucie Donlan has left the villa.
Donlan, 21, was heartbroken when Joe Garratt, who she was coupled with, became one of the first contestants to be voted off the ITV2 show, along with Elma Pazar.
As sandwich seller Garratt, 22, said goodbye he encouraged Donlan to stay and keep competing in the show. He said: “I’ll wait for her.”
Donlan sobbed to Garratt: “ I just don’t know what to do. It’s not going to be the same, it’s just going to be horrible.”
And later she wept in the diary room as she confided: “I’m just gutted cause you can clearly see that me and Joe had feelings for each other.”
Rumours began to circulate on social media that Donlan had quit the show after Garratt left.
But a spokesperson for the show told Yahoo UK she has not left the villa.
Garratt and Donlan’s relationship had sparked upset among viewers as some felt his behaviour was controlling.
Garratt had told Donlan he did not like her being friends with Tommy Fury and the other male contestants, and asked her to try and befriend some of the girls.
In a post on Garratt’s Instagram page his friends and family defended him, blaming the shows editing for portraying him in a bad light.
They wrote: “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.”
Ofcom said it had received 302 complaints about Donlan’s treatment in the villa and domestic abuse charity Women's Aid released a statement warning that possessive behaviour can be an early sign of an abusive relationship.
Adina Claire, Co-Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: “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.”