Wes Nelson has revealed dating in the public eye negatively impacted his mental health.
After finding fame on Love Island, the 23-year-old former nuclear engineer went on to have high-profile relationships with fellow contestants Megan Barton Hanson and Arabella Chi.
Yet Wes – who is involved in a new campaign with Dott scooters – exclusively told MailOnline that he will no longer entertain romances publicly, and also gave some advice to the new crop of Islanders who will find fame on the ITV2 series.
EXCLUSIVE: Wes Nelson has revealed dating in the public eye damaged his mental health and offered advice to new Love Island contestants (pictured with ex Megan Barton Hanson in 2018)
Wes explained: ‘I’ve made the discovery that being so open and honest with relationships online didn’t help with my mental health.
‘And it didn’t help with the relationships health. So for me, I keep everything private. I like to keep it to myself.’
Wes famously dated former exotic dancer Megan after reaching the quarter-finals of Love Island together in 2018.
However, the pair were involved in a bitter split the following January, shortly after Megan a Instagram story accusing his Dancing On Ice partner Vanessa of being cold towards her.
He’s NOT got a text: Wes – who is involved in a new campaign with Dott scooters – exclusively told MailOnline that he will no longer entertain romances publicly
What followed was an outlandish war of words over the custody of their pet hamster Jon Snow, with Megan being accused of ‘kidnapping’ the furry critter after vowing they would ‘co-parent’.
After moving on from hamster-gate, Wes then struck up a romance with model and fellow Islander Arabella, 29, but they split in April 2020 after nine months of dating.
He was last linked to model Lucciana Beynon, the daughter of millionaire tobacco tycoon Travers Beynon, after they were said to be ‘growing close’ in March this year.
As seen on screen: Wes reached the final of Love Island 2018 with (L-R) Paul Knops, Laura Anderson, Jack Fincham, Dani Dyer, Megan, Kazimir Crossley and Josh Denzel
Despite making a vow to keep his own romances out of the spotlight, Wes insisted that he has no regrets over his time on Love Island and encouraged others to apply.
As the show is set to return this month after going on hiatus for the year during the pandemic, Wes offered some advice to the new Islanders.
He mused: ‘It sounds so plain and generic but be unapologetically yourself. People have an idea of how they should be, or Islanders they’ve seen and they try and replicate that, but the show highlights people who are playing games.
‘People respect people who are unapologetic with their decisions. Take a leaf out of my book and go for it, the public will forgive you.’
Happier times: Wes famously dated exotic dancer Megan but the pair were involved in a bitter split in January 2019 which involved a bitter hamster custody battle (pictured in 2018)
Wes also addressed the backlash that Love Island has faced after being plagued with tragedies over the years.
Season two contestant Sophie Gradon took her own life aged 32 in June 2018 after appearing on the show two years prior. Her heartbroken boyfriend Aaron Armstrong took his own life just 20 days later aged 25.
Tragically, season three star Mike Thalassitis was then found dead in a park in March 2019 – after friends revealed he had been ‘in a dark place’ in the months leading up to his death.
In December that year, Caroline left her role presenting the show in the wake of her arrest over an alleged assault on her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
The presenter was found dead at her home in Stoke Newington, London, on February 15, 2020, aged 40. She too had taken her own life.
Following the tragedies, ITV reassessed their duty of care processes, but there has been a call from some fans to cancel the show completely.
Former flame: Wes then struck up a romance with model and fellow Islander Arabella Chi, 29, but they split in April 2020 after nine months of dating (pictured in 2019)
Defending the ITV2 show, Wes explained: ‘It’s difficult. It’s completely horrible what’s happened and some of the things that have come from it.
‘Caroline and great friends of mine – I loved them dearly. It does upset me to talk about them.
‘But it’s an amazing show. I had an amazing time. I can only speak about my own experience and I can’t tell you what other people have gone through.
‘For me, it was such a great experience and I met some lovely people and I’ve made some lifelong friends.’
Offering more advice to potential new Islanders, he continued: ‘I’d encourage anyone to do it as long as they’re in a good headspace and feeling prepared. I think it’s a great show.’
Gone too soon: Wes addressed backlash Love Island has faced following the tragic suicides of season two contestant Sophie Gradon in 2018 and season three’s Mike Thalassitis in 2019
Tragic loss: Love Island host Caroline Flack was found dead at her home in Stoke Newington, London, on February 15, 2020, aged 40. She too had taken her own life
Since leaving the villa, Wes has gone on to launch a successful music career, releasing his hit single See Nobody last year and Nice to Meet Ya in April.
Now the star is working with micro mobility company Dott on their campaign to get Londoners rediscovering the city’s landmarks with e-scooters.
Explaining why he decided to partner with the e-scooter brand, Wes admitted: ‘I’m from Stoke-on-Trent so since moving to London I’ve been clueless!
‘Now I’ve been discovering all the Dott stops what’s on my doorstep, and it’s amazing for the environment as it uses clean renewable energy, no fossil fuels.’
Dott will be launching their e-scooters rental service in five London boroughs this summer.
To encourage Londoners to rediscover the city’s stunning landmarks, Dott have identified 30 Dott Spots around the Capital, each with a unique QR code to scan for free rides and exclusive discounts!
Visit https://ridedott.com/dottspots for more details.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please call the Samaritans on 116 123 for free or visit www.samaritans.org
Vroom vroom: Wes is working with micro mobility company Dott on their campaign to get Londoners rediscovering the city’s landmarks with e-scooters