Former Castleford Tigers forward Jacques O’Neill has been hit with death threats following his time in the Love Island villa.
The former Castleford Tigers forward was coupled up with Welsh beauty Paige Thorne, but struggled towards the end of his time in the villa, bursting into tears and going ahead with an emotional exit despite Love Island bosses bringing in their welfare officer in a bid to help O’Neill through the hard time.
His mother revealed a medical condition that has made it hard for O’Neill to express his emotions.
A post on O’Neill’s Instagram page read: “Jacques was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 9 years old.
“By no means is this a get out clause for his actions but it is to show that he can fundamentally struggle with his emotions at times.
“He is an amazing person who I’m proud to call my friend/little brother.
“All the hate thrown towards Jacques doesn’t go to him directly….It comes to his loved ones who have always supported him and not just whilst he is on Love Island.
“Love Island, although real is still a show where the producers do have control and we see 45 minutes out of the 1440 in 24hours.
“Please be kind♥️”
The name Jacques O’Neill is currently one of the most searched on Google in the UK, however, that has also come with its downsides, including vile death threats from his time in the villa, aimed at both Jacques and his mother.
Love Island is watched by, on average, 3.5 million viewers per night with O’Neill one of those that was thrust into the limelight towards the end of his stay in the villa.
Since exiting, O’Neill has been inundated with – what has mainly been – support on social media and has now reached over 800,000 followers on social media giant Instagram – an incredible number considering he was under five figures before going onto the hit ITV2 show.
Such a popular figure will always be given offers to appear on other reality shows, but O’Neill has turned down the offer of £60,000 to go on Celebs Go Dating, according to the Daily Mail.
Instead, the 23-year-old has vowed to wait for Paige on the outside, despite the Welsh woman getting close to bombshell Adam Collard – the man who had sparked O’Neill’s ire to begin with which led to his eventual downfall.
There is also a chance that the Cumbrian could return to rugby league, with O’Neill returning to training at Castleford Tigers last week to check in on his former teammates as well as making an appearance at the West Yorkshire club’s fixture against Warrington Wolves at the weekend.
Castleford head coach Lee Radford had remained coy when asked about a potential return for O’Neill, but a deal for 2023 could well be struck even though the 23-year-old will obviously be inundated with offers outside of the sport.