LOVE Island’s Georgia Steel was mocked mercilessly when she came up with the catchphrase of the series: ‘I’m loyal, babe’.
But we can reveal the reason why loyalty is so important to Georgia is because her dad walked out on her when she was just three-years-old, leaving her and her mum heartbroken.
Rex Features Georgia has opened up to The Sun Online
In an exclusive interview with The Sun Online, Georgia has opened up about how she had to be her ‘mum’s rock’ when her biological father ditched them and ripped the heart out of their family.
“It was really, really hard,” Georgia tells The Sun Online. “It’s sad, and it’s 100% impacted on how I am now and my relationships. I wouldn’t wish what has happened to me on anyone.”
She goes on to praise mum Sharon’s husband Andrew, as “the person who taught me right and wrong. Anyone can be a father, it does take time to be a dad.”
The Love Islander says that suffering such a devastating blow at such a young age has made her stronger, “I had to be strong for my mum, even at the age of four, I was my mum’s rock, I gave my mum meaning. It has made me stronger, it really has.”
Alamy Georgia’s biological dad is a jockey
Alamy She hasn’t spoken to him since she left the villa
Fighting back tears, Georgia says: “If I’m honest with you, the whole loyalty thing, that is something my mum has brought me up with. To always be loyal to whoever you’re with.
“I definitely stand by the people I care about more than anything. With me and my mum, there’s nothing that could break us up at all. It made me and my mum closer.”
Professional jockey Rodney Lappin was absent from a lot of Georgia’s childhood, but started trying to contact his daughter in her teens.
“When I was growing up he did try to make contact with me, he came to my school and came to my college.
Instagram Georgia calls her mum’s husband Andrew ‘dad’
“He also tried to send letters and stuff, but at that point in my life, I thought: he didn’t want to know me when I was little, why would he deserve to know me now?
“He always had my number and I want to get it changed, but my number was linked to so many things to do with work, I never did. I would always block him but he’d call me off different numbers.
“I would always say hello, and be civil, but that’s it really, it was like talking to a stranger.”
She says she doesn’t know why he walked out, but adds: “He wasn’t exactly the father figure that my mum wanted him to be. I feel like he really never stepped up to the mark and she had enough of it.”
Rex Features Georgia with her mum Sharon and boyfriend Sam Bird Georgia Steel rages on Love Island as Josh Denzel returns from Casa Amor with Kazimir Crossley
As Rod was famous on the racing scene, Georgia remembers being approached by people who knew him: “People would be like: oh my god, you’re Rod’s daughter. That’s hard. That’s a hard thing to go through.
“All I wanted to believe in my head was that Andy was my biological dad. And when someone would come up to me and say something like that, it would really hurt me.”
The feeling of being rejected all came rushing back to Georgia when she was dumped by Josh Denzel in the villa, who came back from Casa Amor with Kazimir Crossley.
“100% it brings back the feeling of being unwanted. The way I portrayed myself was like a really strong woman, I think that is from my mum – she had to be strong for me, and I had to be strong for myself.
Rex Features The Love Island star says nothing can come between her and her mum