CUMBRIA’s Jacques O’Neill said he was ‘scared of life’ and ‘wanted to go into hiding’ after quitting Love Island.

The rugby star from Askam made the comments while speaking of his time on the ITV2 dating show during an interview on today’s Good Morning Britain.

He opened up about how he struggled to return to normal life following his departure and revealed he and his mum Janet Wright had received death threats.

Read more: Love Island's Paige reveals why she did not leave with Jacques

The 23-year-old chose to cut his time in the villa short following controversy over the Casa Amor episodes, which see new contestants introduced to ‘test’ the couples’ bonds.

News and Star: Jacques in an emotional scene with Paige Thorne after he decided to leave the villaJacques in an emotional scene with Paige Thorne after he decided to leave the villa

The decision also came after the arrival of bombshell Adam Collard, who set his sights on Jacques’ partner Paige Thorne.

The former Castleford Tigers player said he was worried he would 'lose control' and end up 'getting physical' in the villa so made the decision to leave the show.

Read more: Love Island star thanks followers for love and support

“When I first came out it was very different for me,” said O’Neill.

“I was very scared.

“I was just scared of life and what was to come next for me.

“When I was in the holding villa after I left the main villa all I wanted to do was be with my mum and go into hiding.

“I was getting so much hate and me and my mum were getting death threats.

News and Star: Jacques and Paige were the bookies' favourite to win for a long timeJacques and Paige were the bookies' favourite to win for a long time

“I was like mum we just need to stay in, we need to stay indoors, I’m going to delete social media.

“And then I got loads of people contacting me saying I was an inspiration with my ADHD, bit of a role model.

“If they’re thinking this about me, I can’t just turn my back on people with ADHD, I need to stand up and actually do something.

“I had full grown men saying I love you, you’re an inspiration, you’re a role model.

“I was overwhelmed with it all.”

News and Star: Jacques appeared on Good Morning BritainJacques appeared on Good Morning Britain

O’Neill’s departure and subsequent appearance on Love Island’s spin off show Aftersun attracted dozens of complaints from viewers concerned about the former Dowdales School pupil’s welfare.

Read more: ITV issues statement about star's welfare after hundreds of complaints

129 complaints were made about Cumbrian rugby pro’s wellbeing in the lead up to, and during, his departure from the island. ITV said ‘various measures’ were in place to ensure O’Neill’s welfare was ‘prioritised at all times ahead of and during his appearance on Aftersun’.

O’Neill has previously branded his decision to enter the villa the 'worst decision of my life'.

Read more: Love Island star brands show the 'worst decision of my life'

He has since told fans he is in a better place mentally since his exit and thanked his followers for their support.