Love Island contestant Haris Namani says he is “devastated” to learn that a video of him being involved in a street fight has surfaced.
The 21-year-old TV salesman and boxer from Doncaster, who was competing in the winter season of Love Island in South Africa, was dumped from the villa yesterday (25 January) alongside contestant Anna-May Robey.
On Tuesday (24 January), The Sun published footage showing Namani involved in a street fight. The footage shows the reality star punching a man in the chest, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the floor.
“I’m not a bully, I’m not a f***ing bully,” he was heard shouting during the altercation, while the person from behind the camera says: “Go on, Haris.”
In his exit interview given after leaving the villa, Namani said he was “devastated” to learn the video had been seen by the wider public.
“It’s not a reflection of my character,” he said. “I’m not someone that goes looking for fights and I didn’t want to be in that situation. This was a heat of the moment thing.”
He insisted that the video is not a clear representation of “everything that happened” and that he and the man in the video later “cleared the air” and “shook hands”.
“Afterwards we met up and we cleared the air. We’ve shaken hands and we get along now,” he said, adding: “It’s not something that would happen again.”
It comes after Namani’s father Mehedin insisted the clip was actually two years old and that the two men have since resolved any disagreement between them.
“They’re friends, they shook hands,” Mr Namani said. “This was a long time ago – it’s nothing.”
Speaking about his son, he told MailOnline: “He’s not a bad boy, he’s got a good record. He’s been brought up in the right way.”
Elsewhere in his exit interview, Namani apologised for his “part” in an altercation with fellow Love Island contestant Shaq Muhammad, 24, when an argument – about a beer pong kiss – escalated.
At this point, Namani told Muhammed to “shut the f*** up” and other contestants stepped in to prevent the pair from fighting.
Namani said that he and Muhammad were still friends and that they would be meeting up once Muhammad leaves the villa.
He added: “I said sorry for my part in it and he said the same and that’s it.”
A Love Island spokesperson said: “Language and behaviour in the Villa is always closely monitored, and Islanders are reminded of what we consider acceptable during their time on the show. Extensive duty of care protocols for all Islanders includes video training and guidance covering language and behaviour.”
They added: “We execute extensive background checks in advance of Islanders entering the show and are one of the only shows in the UK to offer such a detailed training programme to provide education and instruction to Islanders on what is considered unacceptable behaviour and how they should conduct themselves in the Villa.”
The statement said that this training gives contestants the “opportunity to learn and gain perspective from any mistakes or errors of judgement that have been made prior to going on the show”.
Love Island returns tonight at 9pm on ITV2 and ITVX.