Love Island's Jacques O'Neill famously entered Love Island 2022 as a bombshell and as ex-boyfriend of Gemma Owen. But following Casa Amor, he decided to quit Love Island after struggling with his mental health. But his early departure hasn't stopped him from reaping the Love Island related rewards. In fact, he's been rather busy indeed—meeting up with fellow islanders and even signing a very lucrative deal.
For those who may not remember, Jacques was originally coupled up with Paige Thorne. But after the arrival of Adam Collard, the 23-year-old former rugby player from Cumbria decided to leave the villa (and Paige and Adam became a thing). He later revealed that he wanted to "get back to himself" after battling with his wellbeing on the show.
Since then, he's not only hit the one million followers mark on Instagram (opens in new tab) but teamed up with fellow ex-islander Scott Thomas, and is reportedly set to make some serious cash. He's also taken some important steps for his mental health, revealing that he's started therapy.
What has Love Island's Jacques been up to since leaving the villa?
Since leaving the villa, Jacques has opened up about his mental health struggle and addressed some of his controversial antics on the show.
In a post on Instagram (opens in new tab), he wrote: "Since leaving the villa I’ve had time to reflect on my time being in there and if I’m going to be completely honest I wasn’t mentally prepared for how it was going to be at all—underestimated it massively!"
The star added: "I sometimes couldn’t watch how I was speaking and acting in certain situations but I’m actually glad I’ve watched it because now it’s really opened my eyes up and it’s time to work on myself for myself." He then also thanked everyone for their support, and reassured fans that he was in a much better place.
A post shared by Antigoni 🎶🧜🏼♀️ (@antigoni) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
Though, just days after the Love Island 2022 final, Jacques found himself in hot water again as he was accused of 'bullying' after discussing Remi Lambert in a live stream conversation with Luca Bish.
Jacques took to his Instagram to share a statement saying: "I just want to acknowledge the situation that's happening right now and apologize if my behavior has caused offense or been misinterpreted over the last few weeks.
"I genuinely have no bad feelings towards anyone and I've not meant for anything to come across that way at all. It was not my intention and I'm genuinely sorry if it has." He then revealed that he had started therapy, to work on himself.
Career-wise, along with hitting one million followers on Instagram, Jacques has also started working with a former islander.
A post shared by Jacques O’Neill (@jacques9oneill_) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
Speaking to the Sun, Love Island season two's Scott Thomas has revealed that the star is now being represented by his company The Social PR.
He said: "We’re really excited to be representing Jacques at The Social PR. We were big fans of him on the show and we really respected some of the courageous decisions he made to protect his own mental health. His honesty and vulnerability was admirable. I’m personally really excited to help guide Jacques through his journey."
A source also revealed to the publication that Jacques has got quite the career ahead of him. They explained that he's been "in talks with some big sports broadcasters to be involved in presenting work off the back of his rugby career. He’s had a lot of interest from fashion brands and some potential TV opportunities presented to him too.
"All of this could add up to him becoming a millionaire in the near future, but Jacques is most passionate about becoming an ambassador of ADHD and Mental Health."
Scott Thomas' Love Island appearance
Scott Thomas, Jacques' new mentor and manager starred in Love Island season two and went on to score third place with his couple Kady McDermott—who gave a pretty iconic performance in their season's Talent Show.
The pair sadly didn't make the list of Love Island couples still together, though they did last a year outside of the villa.
Jacques Love Island 2022 journey:
After entering the villa as a bombshell, Jacques connected and coupled up with Paige—despite fans theorizing that he was entering the villa to win back his ex Gemma.
The couple went from strength to strength, despite some drama with Jay wanting to get to know Paige, until Casa Amor. Jacques found his head turned by Cheyanne—but he ultimately decided to stick with Paige.
As you can imagine, news of his behavior did not go down well and their relationship seemed to be over. Eventually, however, they did start to get back on track.
However, the return of former islander Adam was the final straw. The season-four heartbreaker expressed interest in Paige, which led to a fiery row with Jacques—who then decided to leave the villa after not feeling "himself".
Since leaving, Jacques has revealed that he's mentally in a better place and has lots of exciting upcoming plans—though fans have spotted that these don't include Paige, as he has deleted all trace of her from his Instagram.
How long did Jacques O’Neill and Gemma Owen date?
Jacques was one of the first bombshells to enter the villa and actually had a relationship with fellow islander Gemma, who is now coupled up with Luca.
Near the beginning of the series, Gemma regaled her fellow islanders with all the details on her ex. She revealed that the pair dated for eight months, a year and a half ago. This meant that Gemma was either 16, or just turned 17, and Jacques was 21.
This is something that sparked major reactions from fans who were already concerned about Gemma being just 19, especially when she coupled up with 27-year-old Davide.
Fans did have some pretty funny reactions to the ex-boyfriend twist though...
A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
One viewer tweeted (opens in new tab): “Luca stopping dead when he hears Gemma go ‘no that’s my ex-boyfriend.” Yeah, not ideal.
Another commented (opens in new tab): “‘How’s the family’. ‘I heard you’ve got a dog’. Yeah Luca and Gemma are finished”.
A third shared (opens in new tab): “Me waiting for the carnage to begin on Gemma Island.”
From what we’ve gathered from Jacques’ comments about their relationship, it didn’t end exactly amicably—from Gemma’s side—with the pair not speaking since their break-up. However, while the villa together all seemed to be well with the pair, and they even hugged when he left.