LOVE Island’s Liberty Poole says ex-boyfriend Jake Cornish did not fancy her enough or fight to save their relationship as she revealed why she quit the show.
She says she still loves him and dismissed claims he was emotionally abusive in the villa — but said cruel comments about her personality left her feeling deeply hurt.
Liberty, 22, who walked out of the ITV show yesterday morning alongside Jake, called time on their relationship after he criticised her messiness.
At one point, the couple — affectionately known by fans as Jiberty — were odds-on to win the show, such was the strength of their relationship.
But a cruel twist in which producers showed Liberty a clip of him admitting he did not fancy her enough to “rip her clothes off” planted the seed of doubt.
She said: “The clips hurt me, what was said, and I sort of swept it under the carpet and didn’t address it properly and one thing led to another, where it just became a bigger issue.
“And then we found out there were differences between us in how we see things and communicated about things. We just weren’t communicating in the same way we used to.
“I was in love with Jake. And, of course, I still love and care for Jake. You don’t end things then just get over someone like that. But I think, in the long run, I made the right decision. You have to put your own feelings first and to make yourself happy. And that is what I have done.
“The hardest challenges are in the villa. It is full of good-looking people and there is so much temptation, so I feel that if you can’t make it through the villa as a strong couple you won’t make it on the outside world, in there you face hard challenges and you are with people 24/7.”In last night’s show, viewers saw Jake tell her that his “affection for her has died” during their final date before quitting the villa.
Tension between the two reached boiling point after the water engineer said that she gave her the “ick” because their sleeping area was messy.
Despite a seven-week romance, and four weeks as official boyfriend and girlfriend, Jake barely put up a fight to save their relationship.
She added: “I feel like the natural thing to do if you are into someone is to fight for them.
“But if that is the way he wanted to handle the situation, it was right for him. It might be different from a viewers’ perspective but I am happy I made the decision I did.”
Campaigners had labelled his behaviour “negging” — where a man makes flirty but negative comments to belittle a partner to change them. But strong-willed Liberty said she would not change for anyone.
In her first interview, she told The Sun: “Even if he had said to give it a go there were already things in my mind that we weren’t right for each other.
“If he had said, ‘Let’s give it a go,’ it would not have been the right decision. I made the right decision for the both of us so we could both go our separate ways.”
Liberty declared: “You want someone who accepts you for you. I think just the little things he was saying to me, like, ‘Your mess is giving me the ick’. I know I am a messy person.
“And other little things started to add up. There wasn’t enough reassurance. I did the right thing. I do think Jake is a genuine guy. I would hate to say he was emotionally abusive. It was in the heat of the moment and the energy was off. We were going up and then down and I don’t feel like a relationship should feel like that.
“There were comments said that just didn’t sit right with me. I don’t want to feel like I’m annoying someone. I want to feel in love with someone and that that love is returned. The way it was going it wasn’t being returned.”
I do think Jake is a genuine guy. I would hate to say he was emotionally abusive
The couple had a whirlwind romance in the villa but on Thursday, Liberty called time on her romance with Jake, four weeks after they made their relationship official.
The Nando’s waitress said of relationships in the villa: “It is like dating on the outside that is sped up. You saw me and Jake get on, get together, go through our honeymoon phase, then face real problems.” Water engineer Jake, 24, and Liberty got together on the first day of this year’s series in Majorca. But there were several moments in which fans accused him of playing a game — using bubbly Liberty’s popularity to make it to the final and scoop £50,000.
Asked if she thought viewers’ concerns were correct, she said: “I think only Jake can answer that question. It’s hard to comment on what people are seeing, and you guys are seeing it from an outside perspective, whereas I was in the relationship.
“And obviously when you love someone you don’t think of them playing a game. But only Jake can answer that. I do actually think his feelings were genuine. I think that the connection was genuine, but things went sour. But I do think he genuinely liked me. But I just was questioning whether obviously he loved me the way I loved him.”
This year’s show has been filled with secret romps — not shown by ITV — with contestants using phrases such as “NVQs” and “graduation” to describe the different levels of sexual activity.
And Liberty revealed despite saying before the show that she wouldn’t have sex, she didn’t regret sleeping with Jake.
She said: “I said if you found that natural connection with a boy and that is a natural part of a relationship then that might change. At that moment in time I had a good connection with Jake.”
Liberty on final four couples
Faye and Teddy
FAYE has had her insecurities and overcome them. Teddy loves her and every part of her. They’re a really nice couple, and I think they’ve got what it takes to win.
Millie and Liam
THEY are soulmates. They look good together — and just suit. I think Liam and Millie are the real deal. They are totally in love with each other. I could see them getting married and everything.
Kaz and Tyler
THEY have a genuine connection and just bounce off each other — they laugh all the time. They’ve been through Casa Amor having both brought someone else back but they’ve overcome that.
Chloe and Toby
I’VE never seen a couple not able to keep their hands off each other as much as them. The sexual chemistry there is mad. Toby hasn’t had a relationship before, so Chloe will be his first love.