Love Island is under fire for bringing back a contestant accused of "emotional abuse"

(Image credit: ITV)

Love Island continues tonight, with this evening's episode seeing controversial 2018 contestant Adam Collard return as a bombshell.

"I’m going to ruffle a few feathers when I go in," Adam announced in his VT teaser, but given his history in the ITV show, viewers were concerned.

Collard is perhaps most known for the outrage he caused during his 2018 appearance when he was criticised for his treatment of women and accused by some viewers of emotional abuse.

When the now 26-year-old was confronted by tearful ex Rosie Williams back in season four, Collard appeared to mock her, with his emotionally manipulative and toxic behaviour shocking viewers.

"Seriously - laughing at a girl crying because you betrayed her trust and led her on…that’s just the worst thing you can do," tweeted one user.

Another posted: "Adam’s a controlling, mass manipulating wench. He has constantly humiliated girls, making them feel insecure &to blame for his disloyalties & disrespect."

And it wasn’t just Love Island viewers who were concerned, with domestic abuse charity, Women’s Aid, using Adam’s behaviour as a warning of abuse and gaslighting.

Whilst accepting that Love Island is an artificial environment, Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid explained that Adam’s actions on the outside world could be seen as emotional abuse.

"In a relationship, a partner questioning your memory of events, trivialising your thoughts or feelings, and turning things around to blame you can be part of pattern of gaslighting and emotional abuse," explained Katie.

Lifted Entertainment. ITV.
(Image credit: ITV)

Women's Aid went on to encourage women in Rosie's situation to speak out.

"Join [Rosie] in recognising unhealthy behaviour in relationships and speaking out against all forms of domestic abuse - emotional as well as physical", she announced at the time. "It is only when we make a stand together against abuse in relationships that we will see attitudes change and an end to domestic abuse."

Women's Aid has spoken out once more now that Collard is re-entering the villa, imploring that Love Island producers remove him should a repeat incident occur.

"In the 2018 series of Love Island, we saw Rosie rightly call out Adam for his unacceptable behaviour, which included gaslighting and emotional abuse," Teresa Parker, head of communications and media relations at Women's Aid, explained to Yahoo News UK. "We hope that ITV producers recognise how serious this issue is and that it must be learned from, considering they have asked Adam to return to the show."

She continued: "Love Island is watched by many young people and we know what a huge influence it has. Producers must make sure there is support for contestants throughout, and intervene if relationships become unhealthy or abusive.”

We will continue to update this story.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse helpline is available to call, on 0808 2000 247.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.