Ex Love Island contestant Bethany Rogers claims she became addicted to drugs and found herself in an abusive relationship after being painted as a ‘monster’ on the ITV2 dating show.
The former contestant appeared on the first series in 2015 when she was just 19 and was drafted in as a late arrival.
However, 10 days later Bethany was dumped from the villa and was met with a barrage of vile messages and death threats from some viewers, prompting her to turn to drugs.
‘I quickly realised this show is nothing to do with finding love,’ she said. ‘They were just pitting the Islanders against each other.
‘Producers would come in every day and direct us to talk to a certain person – to stir the pot. They were manipulating us to fit their narrative. But everything shown of me was negative and aggressive.’
Bethany said that she was shocked when she watched the show back and saw how she’d been portrayed.
‘They’d made me out to be so aggressive,’ she continued. ‘I’ve got a lot of love to give. I’m not this monster that they made me out to be. I’m certainly not a bully. I just felt so betrayed by the whole scenario. I was still only a teenager.’
A spokesperson for Love Island said: ‘This is not a version of events we recognise.
‘As with all Islanders, Bethany was offered aftercare, both at the time and in the years since her appearance.
‘Because of medical confidentiality, we do not comment on individuals’ duty of care, but our welfare protocols are widely publicised and we have a robust set of measures in place to ensure support before, during, and after filming is prioritised.’
Following her brief Love Island stint, Bethany started dating Laurence Edwards, whom she claims became abusive towards her.
‘At the time I was very vulnerable after coming off the show and Laurence knew that,’ Bethany said.
Despite breaking up, in 2018 Bethany and Edwards were arrested and accused of money laundering offences. She was also caught with 0.134g of the Class B drug ketamine.
The reality star felt so stressed about her upcoming court case and isolated after escaping her relationship that she fell into a ketamine addiction.
‘I didn’t realise what I was doing to myself, but I just felt like I couldn’t lose anything else because I already lost my reputation from being on the show, I had the trauma of this abusive relationship,’ Bethany added to The Sun.
The charges against her were eventually dropped in 2020 with her case concluding last week. She was given an absolute discharge regarding ketamine possession.
Edwards changed his plea to guilty on the charges of perverting the course of justice and acquiring or using criminal property. He is yet to be sentenced.
Love Island continues tonight at 9pm on ITV2.