Love Island’s Mike Thalassitis found dead aged 26
Love Island star Mike Thalassitis had spiraling debts ahead of a new restaurant opening and was struggling with the death of his grandmother who passed away just days before he was found dead, it has been reported.
Mike Thalassitis, 26, was found dead last night in woodland near his Essex home, with his manager confirming the shock news yesterday, Daily Mail reported.
It has been suggested that Mike was at the time struggling to come to terms with the death of his grandmother. The reality TV star had moved in with the 94-year-old after her deteriorating health meant she needed a full time carer.
And this morning former Love Island contestant Montana Brown said that Thalassitis had been 'in a dark place' recently, wishing she had done more to help.
It also emerged today that Mike had been dealing with huge debts after overextending himself with a party lifestyle, with a source telling The Mirror: 'His party lifestyle came at a price and he wasn't earning a lot of cash after Love Island, especially as he became his nan's carer.'
Thalassitis had also been due to open a restaurant in Essex called The Skillet with former professional footballer Scott Neilson, according to filings at Companies House.
Former co-stars and friends of Mike have said that 'enough is enough' as they claim that they are left abandoned once they leave the reality show's villa, having to deal with instant fame alone.
This morning, former Love Island contestant Montana Brown paid tribute to Thalassitis on Instagram saying she wished she had done more, and revealing he had turned to self-help books in recent months.
She said: 'Now I know you were in a dark place a few months back and I thought you were past it and that you were on the up.
'I got you to buy (self-help book) The Magic, you wrote down your gratitudes, you had the pictures of your family in your car to remind you to be grateful for them.
'I just don't know how I didn't notice... I am absolutely heartbroken that I couldn't help you'.
Brown also revealed details of their last phone call, in which Thalassitis congratulated her on a recent swimwear launch.
And added: 'I've thought long and hard about what I want to say, I've woken up and unfortunately this wasn't just a nightmare so this is to you Mr Thala.
'Firstly, I'm so angry at you for doing this because you are so loved by so many people and I just wish you picked up the phone so we could've sorted this out. This didn't need to happen.
'Secondly, it annoys me that you were so misunderstood. 'Muggy Mike' was your stage name and let's face it, the ladies did fall at your feet BUT everyone had this impression of you and you were literally the opposite you were one of a kind.'
After learning of the news of his death, former Love Island co-star Dom Lever slammed Love Island for its lack of support once contestants leave the villa.
He said: 'You get a psychological evaluation before and after you go on the show but hands down once you are done on the show you don't get any support unless you're number one.' This followed a tweet where he expressed how shocked he was at the news.
Thalassitis had just went through a public breakup following a seven month relationship with fellow The Only Way Is Essex star Megan McKenna
Malin Andersson, who lost her daughter earlier this year also hit out at the show and said she 'wouldn't have been able to cope' after the show if she didn't have a 'strong head on her'.
She said: 'If I didn't have a strong head on me that my mum passed down to me, I wouldn't have been able to cope with this all. But not everyone is like this. PLEASE IF YOU FEEL ALONE, OR SAD, OR STUCK REACH OUT TO SOMEBODY!
'Nothing when my mum died. Nothing when Sophie died. Change needs to happen.' She also urged the show to 'wake up!' and said that enough was enough.
'I got flowers from the producers when my daughter died. No f****** phone call. No support, or help.'
Other famous faces, such as Bafta award-winning actress Sheridan Smith said Thalassitis' death should be a 'wake up call' and highlighted a need for change across the industry.
She said: 'This should be a massive wake up call, I feel sick, reach out, sometimes to the most confident friend. we can only learn & try to change'.
Mike - who rose to fame on season three of Love Island - was also preparing to open a restaurant in Essex.
The former League One footballer, who comes from a Cypriot family, enjoyed a successful playing career before becoming a beloved reality TV star.
Michael Thalassitis playing for Stevenage in August 2011
Thalassitis, pictured. in his Bishop's Stortford kit
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My view: Such a tragic waste of a young life. It is shameful that his celebs friends couldn't help him when he was alive, some of them knew he was in a dark place and in debts and they are all coming out tweeting he should have picked up his phone and call them for help. I think his close friends should have contributed some money behind the scene to help him, instead of waiting for him to beg for help. If you have mental health issues or in debt please seek help. I don't get why some reality celebs are blaming ITV for his death, when they knew he had spiraling debts?, so sad.