Michael Owen has jumped to the defence of his daughter Gemma Owen, whose age has sparked criticism from Love Island viewers.
Gemma, 19, is the eldest daughter of the ex-footballing ace, and has been slammed for being ‘rude’ on the show to other contestants as well as for being too young to appear on a reality dating programme, especially after being paired up with 27-year-old David Sancilmenti.
However, despite the criticism, Michael has defended his daughter, calling her ‘mature’ and flagging that he was in the public eye at a younger age during his football career.
He shared: ‘She has had two years more than I had to get ready for life in the public eye.
‘Also, she’s a mature 19. She’s a bit like me in that regard. I was playing for Liverpool when I was 17, and having to make friends with 23, 24, 25-year-olds.
‘The bottom line is, she’s an adult and I have to trust her to make sensible decisions,’ he told The Daily Mail.
While he is trusting her to make sensible decisions, dad-of-four Michael confessed it is difficult to watch his daughter share a bed with someone.
‘Luckily for me, there was no physical contact,’ he said, pointing out that Gemma had her ‘back’ towards David in bed, with ‘space between them.’
Michael continued: ‘I thought, “Good girl.” No father wants to see physical contact, do they? I certainly don’t.’
He added that he definitely does not want to see any kissing, and Gemma was actually worried about that before entering the villa.
‘If there is any physical contact I think I’ll be throwing something at the screen,’ he said. ‘I don’t want to see kissing. Do not make me see kissing!’
He added: ‘That was one of the things she was most worried about, the kissing tasks they get set.’
Admitting that he didn’t know anything about the show, and didn’t watch the first episode, Michael shared that his wife Louise had told him there was a possibility Gemma would have had to do a lap dance, which, he said, his daughter ‘would have been uncomfortable about.’
One thing Michael wasn’t happy with was the amount of swearing on the programme, as he told added to the Mail that when he heard Gemma say s***, he ‘was shouting at the screen,’ because she’s not allowed to swear at home.
Michael has previously shared how it’s his ‘worst nightmare’ to see his daughter on Love Island.
Before she had entered the villa, speaking to ITV News, Michael shared: ‘I have no doubts that she will make us all proud.
‘It’s probably a father’s worst nightmare, but whatever she wants to do
you’ve got to be supportive.’
Love Island continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.