Former Love Island winner Greg O'Shea has been praised as a "brave" example to fans of the show after opening up about the mental health battles he encountered after leaving the villa.
The 27-year-old Irish rugby player bagged the top spot and £50k prize alongside then-beau Amber Gill back in 2019 after joining the line-up just two weeks before the grand finale.
Yet despite his and Amber's relationship winning over the hearts of viewers, Greg has since revealed that the experience took a severe toll on his mental health, with the much-loved ITV2 dating show even having left him suffering suicidal thoughts.
Appearing on The Late Late Show alongside television presenter Ryan Tubridy, the ex-Islander bravely described his eye-opening experience.
"When I was about three of four days into the show I got pulled out of the villa and put into a cabin. I had a zoom call with my mam and she told me my nana passed away and I felt like such a fool and such an idiot when my nana passed away," Greg explained.
"In the middle of it all I was grieving my grandmother," he added.
Greg then spoke openly about the crippling thoughts of taking his own life which haunted him for months on end, all of which eventually led to him seeking professional help.
Describing his move from Ireland to London after winning the show and later retiring from Rugby Sevens, Greg says he felt lost – even more so following the aftermath of his controversial public split with Geordie bombshell Amber.
"My mate told me I was being cancelled and I didn't know what being cancelled meant," he admitted. "I was just so hell bent on going to the Olympics that it was never an option to go the Love Island route.
"I did that and it's such a nice way to close that chapter. The height of depression for Olympians is after it then Monday morning it's gone.
"I went through that and I retired from a sport I didn't want to retire on. The issue with Rugby Sevens is it just doesn't bring in the money."
Greg – who split from girlfriend Amber just weeks after winning the show – also admitted he struggled with the feeling of having "lost my identity".
"All I did was go in and train for the guys and when you're a professional everything is done for you. I've lost all that and lost all my mates that I saw every day."
Discussing his rapid decline in mental health, he explained: "I went on the biggest show in the UK and won it and I've been cancelled for the last two years and I haven't allowed myself to process that.
"In those two years I've been getting abused with death threats, losing thousands of followers every day. And then they start texting my mam, sending messages to my parents and my sisters and my teammates.
"I remember one teammate got a message saying when you get to training you should stab Greg in the back. This has gone too far."
Greg claims that after making the decision to retire from sport, he "lost the reason to get up in the morning", adding: "I'm living in a big city by myself which is one of the loneliest cities to live in the world, and I also had a relationship at the time where we were never compatible.
"On the face of it I had everything and what they say to do is talk to people, but we don't speak and it's such an issue. Men don't speak to each other.
"After trying to speak to the person I was closest to in London, they pulled away. I'm sure that person was dealing with their own stuff, but I was spiralling mentally."
"It's quite upsetting but I was driving around Rathfarnham and I'm in convulsions of tears and I just wanted it all to end. I was just so done and I was like 'what's the point'. It was then that I decided I was just going to talk to a medical professional," Greg added.
And Greg's brutally honest and heartbreaking confession certainly touched the hearts of a multitude of viewers watching at home, with many taking to Twitter to heap praise onto the former reality star.
One fan tweeted: "What a brave interview from Greg on the Late Late," one shared.
"Greg O Shea is one of Ireland's purest," a second wrote. "He's has undoubtedly saved many troubled young souls in Ireland tonight."
Another added: "Greg O Shea honestly highlighting the need for men to seek help and Ryan demonstrates the resistance perfectly with the hair touching and deflection. SMH. Well done Greg!"
If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.
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