WINTER Love Island star Shaughna Phillips has been accused of being in a secret relationship when she took part in the ITV2 dating show last January, and Celebs Go Dating later in the year.
The 26-year-old reality TV favourite appears to have revealed a mystery boyfriend – who she has been dating since at least 2019.
Shaughna also suggested that she’d signed up to the show to help her mum financially in now-deleted Instagram comments.
The Love Island beauty took to her social media page yesterday to share a sun-soaked photo in honour of the new year.
In the snap, which was taken on a beach, Shaughna is wearing sunglasses and a bikini as she leans against a topless man.
She has obscured his identity with a firework emoji, but revealed in the caption that they go back over a year.
She wrote: “Starting 2021 with the same people I started 2020 with, and feeling very lucky ”.
But followers were confused by the comment, with Shaughna entering the Winter Love Island villa in South Africa on January 12 last year.
Commenting on the post, one fan wrote: “Were you dating during Love Island?”
Another added: “Plus she was on Celebs Go Dating.
“Confused how she can have a boyfriend of two years what with Celebs Go Dating and Love Island.”
Shaughna replied to the second commenter: “It’s television”, adding a shrug emoji.
One disappointed follower tweeted screenshots of the exchange, including other comments which saw Shaughna respond to a fan who’d asked: “Surely if you’re in a relationship you wouldn’t be going on dating programmes??”
Shaughna had replied: “If you had the ability to potentially change your mum’s/ parents’ life, would you?
“For me, personally, being able to help my mum in anything she financially would need outweighed ANY other scenario.
“That’s the relationship that means everything to me, and I would do anything to give her the life she deserves.
“We may not agree, but I hope you understand my decisions.”
The disgruntled follower captioned the grabs: “Can’t believe Shaughna was in a secret relationship throughout her whole time on Love Island.
“I know it’s all reality tv and it’s all fake but like… She got the whole country to hate Callum which probably did have an impact on him whilst she had a boyfriend of two years when on the show????”
They added: “I dont know why I care so much about this but it feels like I’ve been lied to.”
Shaughna won the sympathy of the nation when her initial Love Island partner Callum Jones returned from Casa Amor loved up with new girl Molly Smith, while Shaughna had remained loyal.
On a Love Island reddit forum, other fans of the show shared their shock at the apparent revelation.
One wrote: “This girl reaaallly started a hate campaign toward Callum and Molly for months when she was lying the whole time…”
Another claimed: “Thankfully I never bought into her whole ‘heartbroken girl’ act after Casa Amor. The whole situation didn’t feel genuine to me.”
A third asked: “If she was so proud of her decision to go on LI to help her mum, then why has she been keeping it a secret for almost a year?”
HOAR has contacted Shaughna’s rep for comment.