Emma-Jane Woodhams admitted she ‘regrets’ having sex in Love Island and subjecting her family to online abuse after appearing on the dating show.
The former contestant, who was aged just 19 during her stint in the villa, was shown on TV screens romping with fellow contestant Terry Walsh, then 28, in series two.
Looking back on her time, Emma, now 26, has said she thought that by ‘doing it openly’ the scenes wouldn’t be aired.
Speaking about the abuse both she and her family received after she left the villa, Emma said she ‘struggled to come to terms’ with her mistake because she was so young.
This year, Love Island made changes to its duty of care measures and will give enhanced training around behaviour in relationships as well as a social media ban.
Bad idea: Emma-Jane Woodhams, 26, admitted she ‘regrets’ having sex in Love Island and subjecting her family to online abuse after appearing on the dating show (Pictured in 2022)
In an interview with The Sun, Emma said: ‘I was speaking to the other girls [in the villa] and they said that doing it openly was the way that they’d been able to stop their time in the hideaway being aired.
‘With me being as young as I was, it does stay with you and you do have to carry it with you, and I wouldn’t wish what I went through when I came out on my worst enemy.
‘And I really struggled to come to terms with the fact that my family had been subjected to that as well, because of what I’d done.’
Emma went on to state that she can now see that the show has taken new steps in its aftercare, but wishes their scene had remained private.
One year on from the incident in 2017, she revealed that 12 months later, she was still being trolled about her ‘massive, massive mistake’ by complete ‘strangers’.
Speaking in a video on Instagram, she said: ‘Last year on Love Island I made a mistake, I made a massive, massive mistake and I know that.
‘The amount of abuse I take, still now, because of it, from strangers that won’t let me live down a mistake I have repeatedly apologised for is horrendous.’
Admitting she had grown a ‘very thick skin’, Emma-Jane said she refused to stay quiet any longer.
Throwback: The former contestant, who was aged just 19 during her stint in the villa, was shown on TV screens romping with fellow contestant Terry Walsh , then 28, in series two (pictured)
Regrets: Looking back on her time, Emma has said she thought that by ‘doing it openly’ the scenes wouldn’t be aired (pictured with Terry)
She said: ‘Nobody is speaking out and saying, behind these accounts we are real people, with real feelings and we get very hurt by people who have absolutely no right to say such spiteful, and vile things because they don’t like us on a show which was intended for a bit of lighthearted entertainment.
‘When people bring my family into the comments, that’s what hurts me the most, that’s what cuts me deep, but I’m very lucky that I have an amazing family that love me, and forgiven me for Love Island last year, so I think that it’s time that the public do too.’
Ending on a positive note, she concluded: ‘I’m just going to go forward from this and hold my head high, and look into the future.’
Awful: She said: ‘With me being as young as I was, it does stay with you and you do have to carry it with you, and I wouldn’t wish what I went through when I came out on my worst enemy’
After investigating the scenes following a string of complaints from viewers, Ofcom eventually ruled the clips did not breach its rules.
Sex had been featured on the show before – and on other reality programmes – but this was believed to be the first time it was shown in full view of the cameras rather than under bed covers.
In its ruling on Love Island, Ofcom said broadcasters which showed ‘real sex’ should exercise caution as it could cause more offence than lovemaking in a film or TV drama. But it concluded that broadcaster ITV2 had not breached its rules.
ITV2 claimed the show was aimed at a young adult audience and that it regularly featured sexual activity, meaning viewers should have known what to expect.
On the show: The 2016 series alone included more than 30 similar incidents of couples engaging in sexual activity although the aired scenes were ‘relatively inexplicit’, ITV2 said
The 2016 series alone included more than 30 similar incidents of couples engaging in sexual activity although the aired scenes were ‘relatively inexplicit’, ITV2 said in its response to Ofcom.
The scenes between the duo were edited and ‘carefully avoided any shot being overly explicit, and there is relatively little sound included of Emma and Terry’s lovemaking,’ the broadcaster added.
Emma wore a slip throughout so there was no full nudity shown and the sequence was set to the Toreador Song from the opera Carmen ‘for deliberate comic effect’, the channel said.
Love Island duty of care protocols in full – ahead of 2023 series
The full duty of care process is outlined below:
Pre Filming and Filming
– Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
– Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
– Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose in confidence any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the Villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.
– Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
– Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
– Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.
– A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.
– Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
– A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.
– Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
– We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.
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