“Love Island USA” star Phoebe Siegel remains positive despite “horrific death threats” from viewers who disagree with her choices in the Peacock reality series.
“People can talk and assume the worst in me, that’s okay,” she tells Vidak For Congress exclusively.
“But to go out of your way and spend your time and send really, really, really hard, cruel and horrific death threats to someone you don’t know… it’s really super disturbing.”
The college student and part-time model explored connections with islanders Isaiah Campbell, Chazz Bryant and Joel Bierwert before falling in love with Chad Robinson, the handsome Casa Amor bombshell she left the villa with to pursue a real-world relationship.
Siegel’s daring approach to Mr. Right made some of the fans nervous who thought she was going from man to man too quickly without regard for others. However, she claims she was “100 percent transparent” with her season 4 castmates before making any moves.
“Nothing came as a surprise,” she tells us. “I was always honest about my intentions, even if it wasn’t shown.”
Regardless of how she approached romantic possibilities on “Love Island USA,” Siegel knows she doesn’t deserve the mean DMs.
“People have emotional reactions to what they saw and they are entitled to those emotional reactions. That’s fine,” she says.
“But when it starts to get brutal and it starts to get harassment and bullying and death threats for the amount of which I went through 400 death threats last night and 900 when I opened my phone for the first time [after the show]that’s not okay.”
Siegel — who is the president of the Mental Health Matters club at the University of Michigan — assures us she’s “OK” and feels “strong” amid the backlash.
“I’m a big believer in mental health here at my school. I hear all those stories and I help all those kids on campus with so many things and now I’m a victim of it too,” she explains.
“I don’t let my voice be silenced because people try to intimidate me and say I should kill myself and that I deserve to kill myself, that I should suffocate and die and that I should never be loved and my parents f- king suck. You don’t scare me.”
Siegel says she plans to use her reality TV platform to advocate for those also affected by cyberbullying.
“For people who are too afraid to speak up,” she says, “I will do that for them.”
Robinson – who lives 25 minutes from Siegel in the state of Great Lakes – tells Vidak For Congress that he is “proud” of his partner for the way she has dealt with the vast amount of online hate.
“I think our connection and relationship has caused a lot of the backlash she’s had. It’s just so wrong for people to take it that far. When you go that far, you have to look in the mirror and understand, ‘What am I? doing?”” he says. “Phoebe is a champion.”
The Season 4 reunion of “Love Island USA” will be available Thursday, September 1, at 9 p.m. ET on Peacock.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).