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Greg O’Shea reveals why he turned down ‘six-figure deals’ after Love Island win

Greg O’Shea has revealed why he turned down “six-figure deals” after winning Love Island.

The Limerick native appeared on the ITV dating show back in 2019, arriving late into the villa as a bombshell.

The rugby star struck up a romance with Amber Gill, and the pair went on to win the show together – splitting the £50k cash prize.

Greg and Amber | ITV

Amber and Greg’s relationship was short-lived, as they split soon after leaving the villa.

Greg appeared on the latest episode of Doireann Garrihy’s The Laughs Of Your Life podcast, where he opened up about his life after the show.

He said: “Obviously after the how I didn’t follow the path you’re supposed to. The unwritten rule that when you win the show, you move to London, you do the red carpet events, you’re the ‘it’ couple and you lowkey promote the show.”

“I had those six-figure deals sitting in front of me and I said no to them. It makes me sick to this day. Doireann if you knew how much money I turned down, honestly, oh my God.”

Greg explained he chose to avoid the fast-paced influencer lifestyle to instead focus on his career as a professional rugby player and achieve his goal of making it to the Olympics in Tokyo.

He told Doireann: “It was kind of that whole thing of ‘if money wasn’t an object what would you do?’ It was always picking happiness over money.”

“I was like, ‘I know what I want to do is go to the Olympics and no one is going to get in the way’. You can’t buy the Olympics. I was like, ‘I’m going for it’.”

The 27-year-old added: “I didn’t do the Love Island thing, I didn’t turn up to any event after the show, not one event and I won it… No wonder ITV hated me!”

Greg went on to say: “I was just so laser-focused on doing what I’d done before the show.”

“People were like, ‘You’re an absolute idiot, you’re after throwing away the golden ticket, you’re such a muppet, what are you doing?'”

“But you fast forward two years later, I end up going to the Olympics and I’m just kind of sitting there like, ‘I told you I was going to do it’.”

After representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics as part of the Irish rugby sevens team last year, Greg announced his retirement from the sport.

After this, Greg’s mental health plummeted as he found himself alone in London with no career prospects.

Speaking on the same podcast, he recalled: “I remember one time I was back in Dublin and I was driving around and it got really, really bad. It got overwhelming at one stage, I was behind the wheel of the car and I was like, ‘alright this is going one of two ways’.

“I don’t want to get too dark on the podcast but it was basically a decision of, alright, either this is all over, or bring yourself to the doctor right now. And thank God I did, I drove myself to the doctor and I said ‘I need to speak to someone right now’.

“They helped me thank God. And not getting into too much detail but I had to go on pretty heavy medication and that didn’t even work, they had to double the medication and it get really, really bad for a few months.”

“All this time no one knew, my best friend who I live with didn’t know. I told my mom but no one else knew.”

An emotional Greg said he eventually came to the realisation that nobody was going to change his life but him, and recalled being inspired by Doireann’s life motto that ‘no one gives a f**k about you’.

The reality star recalled: “I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and I started writing down the things I cared about, my family, my friends, fitness, presenting…”

“I decided those were my pillars, I’m going to surround myself with my family and friends, I’m going to try my best to do some presenting and hosting, and I’m also going to create a fitness app… and I’m just going to go hell for leather.”

 

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A post shared by Doireann Garrihy (@doireanngarrihy)

“I literally started ringing people and was like ‘give me a shot, any chance’. One or two started cracking the door open for me and I just burst through it…”

Greg said “eventually the work started coming through”, and earlier this year he made the conscious decision to take himself off the medication he was put on.

“I got them and threw them in the bin and I just went for it,” he added.

If you have been affected by anything in this article, please visit www.pieta.ie or call 1800 247 247.

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