Love Island contestant Jonny Mitchell's comments branded 'controlling and abusive' by domestic abuse charity

Women's Aid spokesperson says she felt compelled to speak out to alert viewers to warning signs

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 11 July 2017 11:40
Jonny gets angry during ITV's Love Island before showing 'abusive, controlling behaviour'

A domestic abuse charity has expressed concern at the behaviour of one of the men on Love Island after he made "sexist remarks" about a fellow contestant.

In the latest episode, Jonny Mitchell was heard suggesting that new islander Theo Campbell would have to prise contestant Tyla Carr from his "cold dead hands" if he wanted a chance with her.

Earlier in the week, Theo had chosen Tyla in the latest recoupling, leading Jonny to brand him a "gigantic b******" and prompting another contestant to step between the two as things became heated.

Women's Aid CEO Polly Neate has branded Jonny's comments "possessive and controlling".

"When Jonny said that new arrival Theo would have to prise Tyla 'from my cold dead hands' it was not romantic," she wrote on the charity's website.

"It did not demonstrate how much he liked her. It was possessive and controlling. What can all too easily be passed off as banter, actually carries the underlying sentiment that this man believes he owns this woman."

She added that she felt compelled to speak out to encourage others to identify the warning signs of abusive or controlling behaviour.

"The fact that Tyla says she was left wanting to run away from a controlling relationship in the past, shows just how easy this sort of behaviour, if unchecked, can slip into a controlling and abusive relationship," she said.

Theo also commented on Jonny's response in the episode, telling Tyla: "He [Jonny] is on you 24/7. To me that shows how insecure he is at the moment and to not even let you out of his grasp, out of his sight... if he can lose his head that easily, imagine you go to a club or something and you get a photo with another boy, he'll lose his head."

Meanwhile new contestant Theo's appearance on the show has reportedly jeopardised his athletics career, as the British Athletics body was unaware that he was taking part.

"British Athletics was unaware of Theo Campbell's participation in this reality TV show," a spokesperon told The Mirror.

"With the IAAF World Championships in London just a month away, we would expect all those in contention for selection to be 100 per cent focused on their training and preparations to compete against the world's best athletes."

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