I won Love Island – here's why so many winning couples don’t last on outside & cringe thing you have to do if you split | The Sun

WHEN last year’s Love Island winners Liam Reardon and Millie Court announced their split this week, it brought it all back for Jess Hayes.

The 29-year-old won the first series of the hit ITV2 show in 2015 with Max Morley – but they called it quits soon after.

“Oh my god, I remember having to write a statement with Max when we broke up,” she laughs.

“It's crazy. It’s ridiculous, isn't it?”

Now, in an exclusive interview with The Sun, Jess reveals why she believes Millie and Liam have become the latest in a long line of Love Island winners to break up once the show ends.

It was just 40 days after winning Love Island that Jess and Max split, having been spotted having a blazing row a week after landing back in the UK.


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Max, now 29, was even romantically linked to Towie star Jess Wright during the weeks that followed the Love Island final.

“It was so tough,” Jess recalls. “I feel like you're so young when you go in there. And, I'm not gonna lie, the boys just want to be boys.

“I'm not saying that girls are any different, but the boys want to go out and do their thing.

"They’ll go to loads of PAs [public appearances], tours of nightclubs, and go together with the other boys while girls are throwing themselves at them.

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“It gives you major anxiety, and the trust wasn't there for me.”

Jess believes this may have been what caused the downfall of Millie and Liam this week – especially after she forgave him for cheating on her with Lillie Haynes in Casa Amor.

“I'd like to think some of the boys are a little bit more mature now,” she adds.

“But that will definitely play a part.”

Her comments echo those of Adam Collard during a chat with Paige Thorne this week, in which he suggested her partner Jacques O'Neill could succumb to temptation outside the villa.

Adam – who made a bombshell return to the villa – did an 80-night tour of nightclubs when he left Love Island in 2018.

Fan pressure

Many Love Island couples are still together, like Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury, and some even married with kids, like Olivia and Alex Bowen.

But the only two winning couples still together are Cara De La Hoyde and Nathan Massey from series two and Finley Tapp and Paige Turley from winter 2020.

Jess says she thinks a big reason for this is the pressure from fans that the winning couple must feel.

She says: “The pressure of keeping everyone up to date with your relationship must be so hard, that feeling like you need to update social media.

“It's just so much pressure all the time – especially as you feel like because you've won, you've got to prove to people that they voted for the right people and that you're together.”

It's just so much pressure all the time – especially as you feel like because you've won, you've got to prove to people that they voted for the right people and that you're together

For Jess, part of her and Max's issue was living far apart, with her in London and him in Leeds.

She says: “When you’re on Love Island, you’re in that bubble and you think you’re right for each other, and then you come out and realise you’re not.

“The schedules are just crazy and it doesn’t work because of the distance.”

Meddling management

Jess says Max’s post-Love Island management also had a part to play in why it didn’t work out for them.

She claims: “Max’s management at the time was very pushy, and they wanted him to act single. 

“And then I remember he had that little relationship with Charlotte Crosby.”

Jess now has a three-year-old son, Presley, and happily settled with a new man.

One regret

The stunner only has one regret about her time on Love Island – not stealing the £50,000 prize money from Max.

“I’d never watch it now because it’s so cringy, and I’m a different person now,” she says.

“But I feel like when I look back and see Max go in as a bombshell, he knew I was popular and just chose me as his winning ticket.

“I feel like I won it on my own, and was just used by him.”

When it comes to this year’s islanders, she doesn’t think any are going to last outside the villa.

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However, she has a feeling Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti may win the show – and be the first ever couple where one steals the cash for themselves rather than share it.

“We need it!” she laughs.

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