Wes Nelson has revealed that dating in the public eye took a toll on his mental health.
After finding fame on Love Island, the 23-year-old former nuclear engineer had high-profile relationships with fellow contestants Megan Barton Hanson and Arabella Chi.
Yet Wes – who is involved in a new campaign with Dot Scooter – exclusively told MailOnline that he will no longer entertain romance in public, and also offered some advice to the new crop of islanders who are on the ITV2 series. You will get fame.
EXCLUSIVE: Wes Nelson reveals the damage to his mental health from dating in the public eye and gives advice to new Love Island contestants (pictured with ex Megan Barton Hanson in 2018)
Wes explained: ‘I’ve discovered that being so open and honest with online relationships hasn’t helped my mental health.
‘And it didn’t help the health of the relationship. That’s why I keep everything private for myself. I like to keep it with me.’
Wes dated former exotic dancer Megan after they reached the quarterfinals of Love Island together in 2018.
However, the pair were involved in a bitter split the following January, shortly after an Instagram story by Megan accused her Dancing On Ice partner Vanessa of being cold towards her.
He hasn’t got a message: Wes — who is involved in a new campaign with Dot Scooter — exclusively told MailOnline that he will no longer entertain romances in public
This is followed by a bizarre war of words over the custody of her pet hamster Jon Snow, with Megan accusing the beloved critter of ‘kidnapping’ because they would ‘co-parent’.
After moving on from hamster-gate, Wes romanced 29-year-old model and fellow Islander Arabella, but they split in April 2020 after nine months of dating.
He was last linked to model Luciana Bayonne, daughter of millionaire tobacco tycoon Travers Beyoncé, after he was asked to ‘grow closer’ in March this year.
As seen on screen: Wes (LR) reaches the finals of Love Island 2018 alongside Paul Knopes, Laura Anderson, Jack Fincham, Danny Dyer, Megan, Kazimir Crossley and Josh Denzel.
Despite resolving to keep his own romance out of the spotlight, Wes insists he has no regrets over his time on Love Island and encourages others to apply.
As the show prepares to return this month after going on a year-long hiatus during the pandemic, Wes has some advice for new islanders.
He added: ‘It sounds so plain and normal, but apologize to yourself. People have an idea of what they’re supposed to be like, or the islanders they’ve seen and try to replicate it, but the show highlights the people who are playing the game.
‘People respect those who are indifferent to their decisions. Take a leaf out of my book and go for it, the public will forgive you.’
Happy Hours: Wes dated famed exotic dancer Megan, but the pair became involved in a bitter split in January 2019, which involved a distasteful hamster custody battle (pictured in 2018)
Wes also addressed the backlash that Love Island has faced after being plagued by tragedies over the years.
Season two contestant Sophie Graden took her own life at the age of 32 in June 2018 after appearing on the show two years earlier. Her heartbroken boyfriend Aaron Armstrong took his own life at the age of 25 just 20 days later.
Tragically, season three star Mike Thalassitis was found dead in a park in March 2019 – when friends revealed he was ‘in a dark place’ in the months leading up to his death.
In December of the same year, Caroline relinquished her role of presenting the show after being arrested for an alleged assault on her boyfriend, Louise Burton.
The presenter, aged 40, was found dead at her home in Stoke Newington, London, on February 15, 2020. He too had taken his own life.
After the tragedies, ITV reevaluated its duty of care procedures, but there have been calls from some fans to cancel the show altogether.
Former Flame: Wes then romanced model and partner…