Worried Love Island bosses have rushed to contact every single Islanders after the shock death of Sophie Gradon,
Sophie’s sudden death aged just 32 sent shock waves through the ITV Love Island “family” – with former Islanders lining up to slam the show for poor aftercare.
Former Islander Malin Andersson spoke out demanding better care for evictees – claiming her friend Sophie spiralled out of control after experiencing the downside to reality TV fame.l
Now producers have frantically contacted those involved in the show to do a welfare check.
Sources told The Sun: “They have been really shocked and concerned by what has gone on with Sophie.
“They seemed panicked by the suggestion they might not have looked after her. They quickly hit the phones to start checking on the others who have been on the show and ask how they are coping — even offering them support if they need it.
“Quite a few were pretty unimpressed. It came out of the blue and many of the ex-contestants feel that they were dropped very quickly after leaving the show.
Sophie sadly died on Friday – she was found at her parents Newcastle home. Police have branded to death “non suspicious”.
Pal Malin – who is expecting her first child – said the show took its toll on people’s emotional states, making a bad situation seem 10 times worse.
Sophie Gradon battled depression and anxiety after Love Island as reality show left her feeling ‘f***ed up’
And post show the then reality stars become drawn to partying.
“If you go out, you do drugs, mix cocaine with alcohol and the next day is a comedown,” Malin said, although she stressed she wasn’t implying that Sophie had used drugs.
“I can’t say what she was doing because I don’t have a clue. Even from alcohol the comedown the next day is like, ‘f*** my life’.
“If things are already bad then they’re going to be even worse aren’t they? They’re magnified.”
Malin says that for Sophie, things reached their lowest point a year after the show when the work was starting to die down.
Love Island’s Sophie Gradon was friends with new girl Ellie Brown and excitedly sent her off to the villa
“We went in there not knowing what it was like to come out after.
“Me and Sophie are both very similar and we were in a not very good place a year after the show, when work started to die down, when life kind of became normal again.
“It’s like you’re reaching a kind of high with TV. We were like, ‘oh what do we do now? Just go for a normal job or what? What are we doing?’
“With Sophie she’d always be like, ‘I’m getting old.’ She used to put herself down a lot.
“And you’ve got to keep up this false image on social media trying to be happy, like ‘look at me, I’m advertising this brand and stuff’, but deep down you might be broke and unhappy and you’re going out, drinking alcohol every night.
“It’s a constant chase, it’s a very sad industry to be in.”
The problem, she believes, is that Islanders allegedly aren’t given any assistance in dealing with the downsides of instant fame.
She said evictees do receive a session with a psychologist as soon as they’re dumped, but insisted it’s actually the aftermath they need help with.
Recalling her own exit, Malin said she had to spend her first night cooped up alone in a hotel room, feeling sad and unable to communicate with anyone.
“You’re on your own with no phone and you’re like ‘what the f***?’” she said.
“That one night is torture. And you’re sad from being evicted but they’re making you do all these social media things like ‘ask me 10 questions about myself.'”
Once her exit aired, she was finally given her phone back and dropped off at the airport.
“They’re like, ‘bye!’ and put you in Palma airport and you’re on your own,” she said.
“I think in reality TV you’re used not as a performing monkey – well, to a certain extent – and once they’re finished with you it’s just kind of, thanks for the views,” she said.
However, she insists the problem isn’t unique to Love Island , explaining it’s more about reality TV as a whole.
“I’m not pinpointing it at Love Island itself but after care is so vital,” she continued.
“Islanders aren’t prepared or know enough about it before they go in. It’s the same with any TV show to be honest.”
Citing this year’s contestant Hayley Hughes , she continued, “They chose what to show of her, to [make her] look stupid.
“Because she probably isn’t and she’s got to deal with all these f***ing idiots tweeting her, trolling her on Instagram and it could hit her.
“I got made out to be a snake, I’m not a snake at all.