Love Island: Amy Hart's father criticises people selling stories on her and reacts to her exit

Ian Hart has spoken out after his daughter Amy's exit from Love Island. Pictures: ITV
Ian Hart has spoken out after his daughter Amy's exit from Love Island. Pictures: ITV

Amy Hart's father has spoken out about people selling their stories to the national press as he reacted to her leaving the show.

The 26-year-old air hostess from Worthing decided to leave the villa in the episode that aired on Tuesday night.

Amy tells Curtis she will be leaving. Picture: ITV

Amy tells Curtis she will be leaving. Picture: ITV

In an emotional moment, Amy pulled former 'half boyfriend' Curtis Pritchard to one side to tell him about her plans.

Read more: Love Island: Amy Hart's journey on the ITV show in pictures
She told the 23-year-old ballroom dancer she was still in love with him, but had to leave so that she could get over him and he could find someone else in the villa.

Speaking exclusively to the Herald, Ian Hart said he was upset that 'local people' had tried to sell their stories to the national press while Amy had been on Love Island.

He said: "The sad part is that some people locally have tried to make money out of Amy by trying to sell stories.

Amy with fellow contestant Maura Higgins. Picture: ITV

Amy with fellow contestant Maura Higgins. Picture: ITV

"The first one fairly early on we managed to get flipped around and the person didn't get their money.

"It is a little bit upsetting. They probably only got £500 or £1,000. If they were that tight for money, I would have helped them out rather than them going to the papers. But that is life, isn't it?"

He said that he spoke to Amy on Monday on the phone after she had left the villa, and said 'she was in good spirits'.

"It came as a bit of a surprise," he said. "It was my regular daily phone call from the production team, and I answered the phone - but instead of the producer, it was Amy.

"She said 'hello dad' - those were the first words I had heard from her in six weeks. In typical Amy fashion, she was quick to point out she hadn't been eliminated by a public vote."

He added: “I am just so proud of her. She went in there for the right reasons; she did want to find someone.

“You can bump into Mr Right in Montague Street or on a TV show – you don’t know when it is coming.”

Ian said his daughter would be flying back this week and had lots of work opportunities lined up, remaining under contract to ITV until the end of the year.

He added that ‘there were a lot of tears in the Hart household’ during Tuesday’s episode: “It was touching and a testament to Amy to see how upset all the girls were that she was leaving.”

Ian only watched the episode up until Amy left, as 'it was not really made for my demographic', he said: "I'm 54 - I have jumpers older than some of the kids in there."

The national press had today reported that producers may have persuaded Maura Higgins to pursue Curtis - a source of upset for Amy.

But Ian denied these claims. He said: "I can't see where this would have come from, bearing in mind I wasn't allowed to speak to Amy until she came out."

He said the last week or so had been 'difficult' given what Amy and the family had been through, and his advice to parents of contestants going in next year was to shut down all their social media accounts and not read the comments on newspaper websites.

When asked if Amy or the family had any regrets about her going on the show, he said: "You can't have any regrets. You have to try things. This is why Sue and I would have never stopped her. One: she is 26 years old, and two: you can't suppress your children's ambitions."

He thanked Amy's supporters for their messages of support, her management and her best friend Hannah Stakim for running Amy's Instagram account, which currently has 770,000 followers.