Love Island star Jacques O’Neill has said he apologises if his recent behaviour “caused offence” after fellow contestant Remi Lambert accused him of bullying.
The former rugby league player, 23, said in a statement shared on his Instagram story on Thursday that he had “probably not handled himself in the best possible way” and that he took “full responsibility” for his actions.
This comes after model and rapper Lambert, 22, accused O’Neill and fellow islander Luca Bish of bullying him while they were in the villa together.
Sharing a video of the former rugby player and fishmonger Bish talking about him on Instagram Live post-show, Lambert said: “Don’t know why they wasn’t kicked out for their behaviour to be honest. It’s not banter, it’s clear signs of bullying.”
In a lengthy statement, O’Neill addressed the situation and apologised for his actions.
He wrote: “I just want to acknowledge the situation that’s happening right now and apologise if my behaviour has caused offence 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.
“Life has been very overwhelming recently and admittedly I’ve probably not handled myself in the best possible way.
“I take full responsibility for my actions. I’m aware I’m far from perfect and that there is work that needs to be done on myself.”
The rugby player also revealed that he has now begun therapy, adding: “I had my first therapy session on Monday which really took me out of my comfort zone, I know I have needed this for years but it’s only now I have decided to get help.
“I know it’s a step in the right direction for me even after just one session.
“I’m not asking for sympathy, I just want to acknowledge the situation and move forward as positively as I can.
“However, I know this can be used as an important lesson for me moving forward and over the coming years. I hope I can become the person I want to be and use this new platform to spread a positive message.
“I’m sorry to anyone that I have let down X.”
During the recent series of the hit ITV dating show, O’Neill came in as a bombshell and quickly coupled up with Welsh paramedic Paige Thorne.
Their relationship became strained after it was revealed he kissed Cheyanne Kerr while Thorne was away in Casa Amor.
He spent a number of days attempting to win her back before announcing he was leaving the villa as he needed to “get back to himself”.
Before deciding to leave the show, the 23-year-old came close to having a physical argument with new bombshell Adam Collard who wanted to pursue Thorne.
Thorne later paired up with Collard and they finished fifth in the dating series together.