Joe Garratt caused a stir on Love Island during his on-off relationship with Lucie Donlan.
But the hunky star has revealed that he had to hide heartache as he entered the villa because his mum is battling breast cancer.
Talking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning today (Monday June 24), he opened up about his mum's illness.
"She was diagnosed with breast cancer six months ago," Joe told Holly and Phill.
She's had two surgeries since and was having radiotherapy.
"She's had two surgeries since and was having radiotherapy," he continued.
Phill then asked him about the strain of media attention, and a visibly emotional Joe said: "There were times when she was going out for radiotherapy and then coming back, and there were at least 10 paparazzi on her doorstep shouting stuff."
"It wasn't easy to hear. Obviously, I wasn't there so I'm really gutted," he admitted.
Joe has refused to apologise for his behaviour on the programme, and insisted he never tried to "control" Lucie.
More than 300 complaints were made to TV watchdog Ofcom relating to how Lucie was treated by other islanders on the show, which is hosted by Caroline Flack.
Joe, who was her partner before being axed this week, left her in tears after telling her to stay away from other boys on the programme.
In an interview with The Sun, Joe said: “I didn’t manipulate or abuse her."
"I am gutted that it has been perceived in that way because it wasn’t like that at all."
"I always had Lucie’s best interests at heart and I promise you I would do everything and anything to help her because she had a hard time in there and didn’t get on with the girls. I was trying to help her and make her experience as amazing as possible. I thought I did right."
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