Wednesday 21 August 2019

Love Island winner Dani Dyer on being 'trapped' in an emotionally controlling relationship

Dani Dyer arrives at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards at SSE Arena on October 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
Dani Dyer arrives at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards at SSE Arena on October 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
Dani Dyer won Love Island with Jack Fincham (Ian West/PA)
Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer were crowned winners in 2018. They have since split up (Ian West/PA)

Evie Kearney

Former Love Island winner Dani Dyer has revealed she needed therapy after becoming "trapped" in an emotionally controlling relationship.

The 23-year-old told Stella magazine that she dated a 'prince charming' between the ages of 16 and 19 who turned out to be the "worst part" of her life, causing her weight to drop to 7 stone.

"It was because of him that I lost my confidence in acting," she said.

"He became my whole world and I just wanted to please him, but if I got a good part – like a role in We Still Kill the Old Way [2014] – he’d shake his head and say: 'Why do you want to do that?' He’d make me feel I couldn’t really do it.

"But it didn't just make me stronger, it made me realise how important my family were, how important I was, how much I needed my friends and how easy it is to get trapped like that if you don't watch out and put up little rules."

Now, the Essex girl is determined to get back in front of the camera as she takes over Maya Jama's presenting role on the new season of True Love or True Lies? - a dating show similar to Love Island, where Dani took home the top prize in 2018 with then-boyfriend Jack Fincham.

Almost 80pc of voters chose the pair to win the £50,000 prize that shot the couple to instant stardom, but the relationship wasn't built the last and their split announced was announced just six months after leaving the villa.

Dani believes she was able to cope with the sudden fame rollercoaster due to lessons learned from her actor father, Danny Dyer, as well as help from ITV's aftercare initiative.

"It can be very tough but everyone is so different in the way they handle things. I spoke to a psychologist from the show before I went on and afterwards," she said.

"I had several calls from the producers checking if I was okay. And a few weeks after the show when I felt overwhelmed and said I needed to speak to someone they put me in touch with a psychiatrist.

"Initially when you come out everyone is lovely and then you start seeing a few negative stories and it can be hard to handle."

Branded Britain's newest sweetheart after her win, she believes that people look up to her because she isn't a typical party girl, and has even penned a bestselling advice book off the back of her Love Island success.

"I had loads of people on Instagram asking me about boys and relationships. I realised people were thinking of me as a role model, something I never expected, and you have to take that seriously," she said.

"I think of myself as a pretty moral person. I don't go out drinking, I've never been interested in drugs or parties. I don't like nightclubs because I like being able to talk to my friends."

Since May, Dani has been in a new relationship with stockbroker Sammy Kimmence (23) who she "had a few dates" with as a teenager. The pair have moved in together and she's already told him she would like to get married.

"Within five years I want to be married with a baby," she said.

"I've told him I want to get married. I've told him I want him to propose to me on a boat. I've even told him what kind of ring I want.

"I don't hold back, I put it all out there. He's totally up for it," she added.

Online Editors

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