Love Island's Samantha reveals 'Joey Essex knew Grace was going in - I was used'

-Credit: (Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
-Credit: (Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

The 26-year-old make-up artist from Liverpool had been coupled up with TOWIE original Joey Essex for the past two weeks, before bombshell Grace Jackson arrived and rekindled her romance with her ex – leaving Samantha high and dry.

Speaking exclusively to new just days after her exit, Samantha has revealed she has no regrets about pursuing a romance with Joey, but slams him for wasting her time and “disregarding her feelings”. And, following rumours that Joey and Grace “didn’t ever split upafter their fling last summer, Samantha has questioned their relationship.

Here, she also opens up about going back into the villa, finding love and her exciting new venture with clothing brand Glamify Fashion…

Love Island Samantha Kenny
Love Island dumped Samantha from the island last week after a brutal recoupling saw Joey Essex choose his ex girlfriend instead -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Hi, Samantha! How are you feeling after leaving the villa?

I’m good. I’m happy to be home! It’s been a roller-coaster ride. I’ve watched the last four or

five episodes from when the bombshells came in. I just wanted to give myself a hug.

Do you have any regrets about the experience?

I’m getting a lot of people saying I closed myself off with Joey, but he was the first person I was initially attracted to. I don’t have any regrets about going for the one person I fancied because I was true to myself. I wasn’t going to force connections with people I didn’t have connections with. I’ve got no regrets about the way I handled the situation either because I think I handled it really well – I could have exploded! It’s been an amazing experience – I just didn’t find love.

How do you feel about Joey now?

I still think he’s a caring and kind person, I just think he was insensitive to my feelings. I’ve now seen the things that he said behind my back, like when he said the handbrake wasn’t completely on [after the date]. Seeing that hurt me.

Joey openly cracked on with Grace in front of you. Did you think that he’d have more respect for you than that?

Yeah I did, 100%. Especially because two hours prior to him kissing her, I was crying

my eyes out. He could see how visibly upset I was and he just disregarded my feelings.

Love Island Samantha Kenny and Joey Essex
Samantha and Joey seemed to click instantly but she now feels like she was 'used' by the former TOWIE star -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Do you feel like Joey wasted your time?

Yeah, I do. I just wanted to get to know Joey and I wanted to explore a connection that I thought was there, but I don’t think that was the case for him at all.

Do you feel used by him?

I just think that I was the girl for him at that moment, that’s how I feel.

There’s speculation that Joey and Grace never actually split up and their romance has been “planned”. What do you think?

Everyone’s got their conspiracies and I don’t like to read into articles, but I have been sent some things – like that they were out together on Halloween wearing matching outfits. Grace did come into the villa and say they got back speaking again in March, and at that time we were going through the process of the show. So, I don’t know… I would never say they were still together but in my personal opinion, I think he knew she was going in because her name was leaked. If you had an intense relationship with someone last year and it came out they were going on Love Island, you’d know about it.

Love Island Joey Essex and Grace Jackson
Joey has wasted no time in getting back into his ex Grace's eye line, quickly dumping Samantha in the process -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Do you think they’ll last?

They said they didn’t last due to distance and Grace has voiced that she wants to move to London, so they could last on the outside, if that was their only problem. I’ll hold my hands up, their sexual tension and chemistry is mind-blowing. It’s what I want – but just not with Joey Essex!

Things reportedly got so steamy between them in the other villa that they had to cut scenes. How does that make you feel?

It says more about them than it says about me. I was a classy lady in there, apart from my potty mouth! I was true to myself and I was proud of the way I reacted to things.

Joey Essex & Grace Jackson
Sparks have been flying between Joey and Grace as they rekindled their romance, and Samantha believes Joey knew all along -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

How do you feel about Grace, after everything that’s gone on?

I was waking up in the morning and making the girl iced coffee and she was asking me for eyebrow tint, things like that. I was a girls’ girl, I didn’t want to let Joey get in the way of me and her being OK with each other. But I’ve seen that she made a couple of comments. And it wasn’t shown, but when I was stood up there on my own [at the recoupling], they were giggling and smirking. It was hurtful.

Your mum said that she thought your two weeks were “ruined” in there because of Joey…

At the end of the day, I’m my mum’s youngest child. My sister and my mum are very protective of me. I think she was just angry and it was the heat of the moment. I know she regrets it now and she’s said she shouldn’t have made the comment, but she was upset. She’s just a protective mum at the end of the day.

Would you return for Casa Amor if you were asked?

It’s hard because obviously Molly [Marsh] did it last year, but she went in and already had a connection with Zach [Noble], whereas if I went back in, I haven’t got anyone to go back in for. But don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go back in. Get me back in the villa any day of the week.

What would you say to Joey and Grace if you did go back in?

I didn’t give them the time of day in there and I don’t think I would now.

Are you still looking for love?

Oh, I’m a hopeless romantic and that experience will not put me off finding love. I will find it.

Love Island Samantha Kenny
Samantha is still looking for love despite her disappointing time wasted with Joey -Credit:ITV
Love Island Joey Essex
Joey is coupled up with Grace - for now -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

You’re now working with Glamify Fashion – congrats! Tell us more about that…

I’m really excited. They reached out to my manager while I was in the villa. I’m a Scouser, I’m very glam and I pulled off the best ‘fits.

What’s next for you?

I’m a make-up artist, so the beauty industry is where I’d like to be. I’d also love to do a bit of presenting. I’d love to get back into TV, I feel like I had a lot more to give.

Samantha is working with Glamify Fashion @glamifyfashion

Watch our exclusive Love Island Dumping Debrief - where we get the lowdown on what villa life is really like from newly dumped islanders