Love Island’s Coco Lodge sparked controversy during her 12-day stay in the villa last summer after entering as a Casa Amor bombshell.
The graphic designer and former shot girl, 28, kissed Andrew LePage, 24, despite him being couple-up with Tasha Ghouri, 24, prompting Andrew to tell Tasha after the incident that he ‘licked her t*t, or whatever’.
And Coco alleges her appearance on the show and her treatment by producers led her to become one of the most trolled contestants of all time.
She told The Sun: ‘People actually said it looked like my face was in a house fire and a car crash.
‘Others claimed I was transgender, called me Caitlyn Jenner and insisted I wasn’t born a woman.’
Claims: Love Island’s Coco Lodge, 28, alleges her appearance on the show and her treatment by producers led her to become one of the most trolled contestants of all time
Coco said the production team only took two photos of her before she entered the villa which ‘didn’t capture her in the best light’.
She was surprised as she was expecting the production team would want the Islanders to look ‘fit’, especially as she was entering Casa Amor.
She added: ‘They did me dirty and when I saw the photo they used for the first time when I peeked into the producers’ room at the villa, I was like, “What the f**k, it’s horrendous. How dare they?”‘
Coco said the picture that was chosen for her led to her being hounded by trolls online who taunted her with cruel messages.
She insists she would not have received so much abuse if a better picture had been chosen.
Coco went on to explain how she was in talks to appear on Channel 4’s Married At First Sight when she was approached by ITV2’s Love Island scouts on Instagram.
She decided to go for Love Island, which she claims left MAFS bosses ‘fuming’, and even used the same audition tape for both shows.
The television personality said the MAFS casting person was ‘obsessed’ with the tape, saying it was the best they’d ever seen, so Coco decided to send the same one in, even though she felt like she ‘cheated’.
Not feeling her best: Coco said the production team only took two photos of her before she entered the villa which ‘didn’t capture her in the best light’
A spokesperson for the show told MailOnline: ‘We have always been transparent that we cast for potential Islanders in a variety of ways.’
However, when it came to entering the Love Island villa, Coco claims her moment was sabotaged when she wasn’t allowed to wear the swimwear she’d selected.
She said she had an orange costume in a cut that ‘made me look great’ but she was told to wear a bikini instead.
Coco said she was annoyed when she entered the villa to see someone else wearing a swimsuit rather than a bikini.
A show source told MailOnline: ‘Islanders can always wear what they want and the team would never let any islander go into the villa feeling uncomfortable. If anything, due to the show’s partnerships, they have lots of choices.’
Raging: Love Island’s Tasha (right) was left seething last summer after Coco revealed she’d had sexual contact with Andrew (left) during Casa Amor, prompting him to claim he’d forgotten
Coco went on to claim the scenes that were shown of her and fellow islander Andrew Le Page, 28, in which he kissed her during Casa Amor while away from his partner Tasha Ghouri, 24, did not tell the full story.
She claims producers ‘did me wrong’, adding that she was ‘extremely emotional’ after Andrew tried to brush the situation off to Tasha, telling her: ‘I licked her t*t or whatever.’
A spokesperson for Love Island told MailOnline: ‘As we have said before, it is not possible to show everything that happens in the villa due to time constraints.
‘It is always our intention to produce a show that is a fair and accurate representation of life in the villa.’
She went on to say she would question the motives of anyone who enters the Love Island villa, insisting nobody genuinely goes on the show to find love.
Honest: Coco was unable to keep it to herself that Andrew had told her he wanted to ‘ruin her’ as he kissed her breast in the pool after she entered the main villa last summer
And she insisted she could ‘never have expected’ the level of trolling she received online after appearing on Love Island.
She claims she was not told the truth about what people were saying about her on social media and that she burst into tears in public and had a ‘breakdown’ at the airport on her return journey home after she was given her phone back.
ITV insist a comprehensive package of welfare measures remain in place for programme contributors to ensure stars are fully supported before, during and after the filming period.
This year, as part of extended measures to protect both the Islanders and their families from ‘the adverse effects of social media’, participants will be asked to pause handles and accounts on their social media platforms for the duration of their time on the show.
Love Island duty of care protocols in full – ahead of 2023 series
The full duty of care process is outlined below:
Pre Filming and Filming
– Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
– Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
– Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose in confidence any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the Villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.
– Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
– Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
– Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.
– A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.
– Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
– A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.
– Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
– We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.
Islanders’ accounts are remaining dormant while they are in the Villa, so that nothing is published on their behalf.
In past series, Islanders’ teams used their accounts to encourage viewers to vote for them and build up their following – but this has led to them receiving abuse from trolls and getting into spats with other contestants’ family and friends.
Additionally, ahead of entering the Villa, Islanders receive guidance and training around mutually respectful behaviour in relationships.
Participants will be offered resource links to ‘read up on, in advance of meeting their fellow Islanders, to help them identify negative behaviours in relationships and understand the behaviour patterns associated with controlling and coercive behaviour’.
Unimpressed: When it came to entering the Love Island villa, Coco claims her moment was sabotaged when she wasn’t allowed to wear the swimwear she’d selected
Psychologist Jo Hemmings, who has worked on a number of reality shows, described Love Island’s duty of care as ‘gold standard’.
She told BBC Newsbeat: ‘I think the protocols, particularly the one about pausing the social media accounts, will certainly help the families or people managing those accounts.’
Faye Winter, a contestant on the 2020 series of the show, told the publication: ‘I was actually really surprised at how much welfare was included in every aspect of leading up to the show, how often I spoke to somebody,” she says.
Read more on Love Island!
‘If I was feeling anxious, they always said “you can call us” if there’s anything that you’re worrying about.
‘We spoke to welfare every day in the villa. And then afterwards, they were absolutely brilliant.
‘Again, you got your eight sessions of counselling, and I continued my counselling with the same therapist, that’s how good it was.’
A minimum of eight therapy sessions are offered to Islanders after they return home to the UK and show bosses maintain proactive contact with the cast for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
Love Island continues on ITV2 and ITVX on Sunday at 9pm.
LOVE ISLAND 2023: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Name: Tanya Manhenga
Occupation: Student and model
Something not many people know about her: ‘I have Vitiligo, which is a skin pigmentation, you may not even notice it.’
‘It’s on my lip and I have a stripe on my hair. Not many people know that but I think it’s quite cute.’
‘I don’t care about covering it up all the time, I think it’s a vibe.’
Name: Lana Jenkins
Occupation: Makeup artist
Something not many people know about her: ‘In my work as a makeup artist I’ve worked with lots of celebrities.
‘Also, when I was 6-years-old I used to live in Spain and I was in an episode of Benidorm as an extra.’
Name: Tanyel Revan
Location: North London
Occupation: Hair stylist
Something not many people know about her: ‘My celebrity crush is Channing Tatum – I don’t like pretty boys, they give me the ‘ick’ because they always have a crap personality.’
‘Channing Tatum is handsome but not too pretty. He’s manly and he can dance.’
‘If a man can dance I’m in love with him straight away.’
Name: Olivia Hawkins
Occupation: Ring girl and actress
Something not many people know about her: ‘I did a film with Jason Statham and had a nice 10-minute convo about life.’
‘I’ve been a ring girl for KSI, I played a waitress in James Bond with Daniel Craig and I’ve also been a body double for Michelle Keegan and Emma Watson.’
Name: Tom Clare
Occupation: Semi-Pro Footballer
Something not many people know about him: I’m a High School Musical fan
Name: Aaron Waters
Something not many people know about him: He thinks his appearance on Love Island UK was ‘diving timing’
Name: Ellie Spence
Occupation: Business Development Executive at a law firm
Something not many people know about her: “When I was drunk I climbed over the gates of my friend’s house, fell and almost lost my leg.”
Name: Samie Elishi
Occupation: Senior Estate Agent Coordinator
Something not many people know about her: ‘I’m a really honest person and I have no filter. I won’t take rubbish from anyone, especially when it comes to guys!’
Name: Kai Fagan
Occupation: Science and PE teacher
Something not many people know about him: ‘I’m a Jamaican citizen. Because of that I played rugby 7s for Jamaica.’
‘I play semi-professional rugby now for Burnage RFC.’
‘I’ve technically got three different degrees and went to three different unis.’
Name: Ron Hall
Occupation: Financial advisor
Something not many people know about him: ‘On meeting me, you’d never know I am blind in one eye.’
‘It was the result of a football injury when I was 8. I’ve got two different coloured eyes, one blue and one green.’
Name: Will Young
Something not many people know about him: ‘Every night I light a candle and meditate for 20-25 minutes.’
‘A girl I was seeing told me to meditate, I tried it and loved it. I stopped seeing her and carried on meditating!
‘It’s a nice way to self reflect.’
Name: Shaq Muhammad
Occupation: Airport security officer
Something not many people know about him: ‘I’m a very emotional person. It can be a blessing and a curse.’
‘Every time I watch Dear John I cry.
That’s my favourite film. Any time I’m with someone and they say, ‘Let’s watch a romantic film’, I’m like, ‘How about Dear John, how does that sound?’
Name: Jessie Wynter
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Something you may not know about her: She was on series two of Love Island Australia
Name: Spencer Wilks
Occupation: E-Commerce Business Owner
Something not many people know about him: He loves Justin Bieber
Name: Jordon Odofin
Occupation: Senior HR Advisor
Something not many people know about him: ‘I don’t have a twin but everyone says me and one of my brothers look identical’
Name: Casey O’Gorman
Occupation: Recruitment Consultant
Something not many people know about her: ‘I’m really squeamish. I once cut my hand and passed out’