Gemma Owen has made quite the impression in this year’s Love Island villa. The international dressage rider has been at the centre of all sorts of romantic twists and dramatic recouplings.
And things took an unexpected turn when Gemma – who was initially coupled up with lovelorn Liam Llewellyn, moved on to Italian hunk Davide Sanclimenti and was then wooed by fishmonger Luca Bish – came face-to-face with her ex Jacques O’Neill, who arrived in Majorca as a bombshell.
But just when Gemma thinks the coast is finally clear and she’s free to crack on with Luca, new can reveal that another one of her former flames, entrepreneur Neil Farrugia, would also like to reignite their relationship.
When we caught up with 27-year-old Malta-born Neil, he insisted Luca is “just not Gemma’s type”. He also delved into 19-year-old Gemma’s rollercoaster relationship history and gave us the lowdown on what Michael Owen’s daughter is really like as a girlfriend.
“Apart from her drop dead stunning looks, she has a super personality – really mature and outgoing,” Neil tells us.
Though the pair decided to call time on their brief romance last November – citing long-distance difficulties – Neil is certain that he’d win her back if given the opportunity to enter the villa.
“I would definitely try my best to turn Gemma’s head back in my direction if I joined the show as a bombshell,” he says. “I think I could make that happen.” But if he can’t make it work with Gem, Neil thinks Davide is her best bet.
“If I had to predict who she’d end up with, I would never have imagined Luca – Davide is definitely more her type!” he says.
Here, Neil spills the beans on meeting Gemma in Dubai, their whirlwind travelling adventures and their friendly break-up…
Hi Neil! How did you and Gemma meet?
We had seen one another once or twice while out in Dubai, which is both mine and Gemma’s favourite place to holiday. We then ended up getting to know each other via social media.
And how long were the two of you together?
We dated for a total of around four months. We went travelling a lot together and got really close, despite it only being for a short period of time.
How would you describe her?
What can I say? Apart from her drop dead stunning looks, Gemma has a super personality. She’s a cute character but also really mature and outgoing. There are so many goals in life she wants to achieve. Gemma ticks lots of boxes – we felt really comfortable together straightaway and just got on really well. I loved how close she was to her family as well, especially her mum.
Did you get on well with Gemma’s family?
Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet them. I spoke to her mother [Louise Bonsall] on the phone a couple of times and she seemed like a lovely, genuine woman. I would have loved to meet the whole family.
Why did you break up?
Gemma and I always had a lot of respect for one another and, though we celebrated many good times and good vibes together, we called it quits after struggling with a long distance relationship. I live in Malta and she lives in the UK. Then I heard she was going on Love Island.
What have you made of her time in the villa so far?
I wish Gemma all the best during her time on the show and I hope she finds the perfect man for her. But on the other hand, I believe Gemma and I had a lot of potential and I still think we could be a good match if reunited in the future. Who knows?
She seems to have struck up quite the romance with Luca Bish – what do you make of their relationship?
Don’t get me wrong, Luca seems like a very nice guy, but he’s just not Gemma’s type! If I had to predict who she’d end up with right at the beginning, I would never have imagined she’d choose Luca. From the current Islanders, I would definitely say Davide is more her type.
Would you consider going into the villa as a bombshell?
Potentially. If I did, I would definitely try my best to turn Gemma’s head back in my direction – and I think I could make that happen. Our relationship ended on really good terms, so we still have positive vibes between us. I think I could make things interesting in the villa…
There were some negative comments on social media about Gemma at the start of the series, saying she was cold and standoffish. How would she take such criticism?
As I say, Gemma is very mature for her age and she knows exactly what she wants. She is quite straightforward and that can sometimes throw people off. But the more you get to know her, the more you realise that she’s a genuinely amazing person. And she’s strong, so I don’t think negative comments would faze her.
Is she quite guarded at first?
Definitely. But only until she feels comfortable with you. It’s only ever a matter of time until Gemma lets her guard down and once that’s happened, you can see why so many people love her.
Do you think she has what it takes to win Love Island?
I believe Gemma definitely has the potential to win as she already seems to have so many fans. But, who she’d win alongside – that I’m not so sure about…
Love Island airs nightly at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub
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