Love Island's Zara McDermott says being victim of revenge porn was 'hardest thing ever' as she admits show 'damaged' her

LOVE Island's Zara McDermott has opened up about her revenge porn hell – branding it the "hardest thing ever" – before admitting the ITV2 dating show "damaged" her.

The 24-year-old star shot to fame on the 2018 series of Love Island, but has now claimed that she wouldn't appear on the show again after the impact it had on her.

She appeared on Loose Women earlier today, where she detailed being a victim of revenge porn twice – with one instance occurring while she was still in the famous villa.

Zara explained: "I’ve been a victim of revenge porn, or what is called Image Based Sexual Abuse, twice in my life.

"Notably, when I came out of Love Island, and came out to images of me, what felt like, circulating around the whole world. It was one of the hardest things I went through in my whole life."

When asked if she'd go on the show again, Zara added: "I wouldn’t do it again personally, just because of my experience and how it has damaged me. There’s probably millions of other people who would."

The brunette beauty is now working with the charity Refuge in a bid to overhaul laws surrounding the crime, calling for anybody who threatens to publicly share intimate photos of another person to face prosecution.

A law against sharing private snaps was first launched in 2015, but Refuge want this to be strengthened.

Reflecting on how to combat the threat of revenge porn, Zara – who recently split from Sam Thompson – admitted that it was "naïve" to tell people not to send intimate videos or photos of themselves to partners as we now "live in a hugely digital age".

She continued: "Educating people who would share the images about the implications of their actions and them knowing it's illegal and is an offence, I think could change a lot."

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Zara had teamed up with BBC Three for a documentary on revenge porn, speaking in an "emotional and raw" interview that recounts leaving the Love Island villa to learn that her ex had posted naked images of her online.

She wrote on Instagram at the time: "My main aim is to bring awareness to this issue, and be a voice for those who have suffered in silence and to help make a change.

"I am sharing my story and being my most vulnerable, emotional and raw.

"This has affected my life and me as a person tremendously, and for the first time I'm confident enough to properly speak out and share my story.

"I am nervous to share these intimate details with the world but I hope that it will only make positive change and lessen the blame on us victims.

"The documentary will be out in a few months time on BBC Three. Thank you so much."

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