Eyal Booker has responded to the criticism faced by Love Island bosses following the tragic death of Mike Thalassitis .
Mike was found dead earlier this month after taking his own life at the age of 26.
The ITV2 dating show faced criticism from some former stars and fans who said more should be done to care for those coming out of the show.
Olivia Attwood , who appeared on the show with Mike in 2017, spoke out in its defence, saying the show saved her.
And now Eyal has spoken out to defend the show too.
During an exclusive chat with Mirror Online, he said: "I can only really talk from my personal experience on that because I think it depends on the individual, but I always knew there was an open door of communication for me to reach out to Love Island if I needed that help.
"Luckily enough I've always had an incredible support network of family and friends who really do have my best interests at heart and look out for me and so they were always there on my shoulder, by my side, when I needed them so I'm lucky and grateful to have their support, so I never really needed anything else."
Eyal took part in the show one year after Mike, but said they had met.
He said: "I have met Mike a few times, I'm not going to stand here and say that we were mates because you meet a lot of people in this industry, but from what I knew of him he was a really genuine and a really nice guy.
"We always said hello and always asked each other how we were."
He added: "I think people give other people a hard time without realising the effect it will have on them and I think that's sad really.
"Nobody thinks about the consequences of something in the moment and I think as a society we could be more mindful and more conscious to each other as a whole."
ITV bosses also said in a statement that they do all they can to care for the show's stars.
Meanwhile Eyal, 23, has been busy filming Celebs on the Ranch in Arizona, alongside a host of other famous faces.
And he said it was basically a dream come true to become a cowboy.
He said: "It was pretty crazy to be honest. I think as a kid you have a million and one dreams of what you want to be when you grow up and I used to sit and watch old cowboy shows with my granddad and having the opportunity to go and be a cowboy was pretty crazy and something I jumped at the chance to go and do.
"[There was] nothing horrific, but there will be one point where you'll be like, 'I can't believe these guys have done that'.
"We got offered the chance to do something I doubt anyone will ever, ever do again.
"Now I can say I've done it and there aren't many people who can say they've done it.
"The rest was like riding horses, shooting guns and roping cattle, anything you'd expect a cowboy or cowgirl to do we kind of did in our own crazy way of screaming and crying before we did it."
Eyal promises there won't be much drama on the show, with everyone getting on like a house on fire.
He shared a room with TOWIE's Bobby Norris and Siva Kaneswaran from The Wanted, and joked that one day he'll have his own bedroom.
He also said he got to know a different side to his former Love Island co-star Georgia Steel , who got a bit of a bad rap for her 'I'm loyal, babe' catchphrase.
Eyal told us: "I shared a room with Bobby Norris and Siva from The Wanted and we became like a little band of brothers.
"I knew Courtney Green from when I was younger so that was weird because I never expected to be on a show with her and then Georgia Steel who I got to know in a different way because Love Island is pretty crazy in its own right.
"Obviously there was no dating going on so you didn't see that side of her. She's still loud, crazy Georgia but she's got a good heart and she means well and she was scared of some things and excited about other things and everything you would imagine a young 20-year-old to be."
Eyal, who is also appearing on Impossible Celebrities on BBC One, has been busy working on his own documentary series.
He said: "I want to focus on things that are going on within our society at the moment, so I think mental health is a big topic, particularly in men, I think race and gender in culture and how racism seeps into society, the environment and our impact on it, single-use plastic and how devastating it is to our environment and what we're leaving for future generations.
"For me, it's about showcasing both sides of a story and allowing people to then come to their own conclusion. I don't want to tell people what's right and what's wrong, and I think my generation and the one younger than me want to know what's going on and the wool has been kind of pulled over our eyes because people think all we want to do is post pictures of ourselves on holiday on social media and we don't, we want to be a part of what's going on, and hopefully I can be that person to showcase that sort of stuff."
* Celebs on the Ranch begins Monday, April 1 at 9pm on 5STAR
* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]
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