Earlier this week (20th August) Elys shared a selection of photos of herself and ex-boyfriend Alex Snell, whom she met on the show, on Instagram. Having previously been unable to share any images of their relationship, Elys shared a selection of photos from their time together before they broke up.
While fans were loving the pictures, Alex commented requesting Elys take the images down, saying it was "unfair" to his new relationship and later called the images out on TikTok, calling them "out of order".
In an exclusive interview with Cosmopolitan UK, Elys shared exactly why she shared those photos, what happened in her relationship with Alex and how she spent her Too Hot To Handle prize fund (and no, it wasn't on Alex).
Cosmopolitan: Hi Elys, let's address those photos of you and Alex, why did you decide to share them?
Elys Hutchinson: My biggest storyline [in the show] was with Alex and we were together in a real relationship outside of the retreat for good six months, and I wanted to be authentic with everyone and let them in on what had happened.
When I watch dating shows, you want to be part of the life after, and I don't think it's fair to go quiet. I thought they're really beautiful memories and I just thought it would be nice to share them.
Were you surprised by Alex's comment and TikTok?
I was a bit surprised to be honest, because I made it very clear we weren't together on the post prior [when she shared the news they were no longer together] and it was all good vibes.
And then I did a second post because everyone was loving the picture and wanted to see more. I previously said to him on WhatsApp: "I will be posting some photos when we get the green light from Netflix".
It's completely out of line what he did on TikTok and I've been nothing but respectful. He put himself on a dating show, and I'm not sure what he expected to happen when it all aired for me to sit back and respect the fact that he has relationship.
Shortly after we broke up he was posting his new girlfriend on social media. A week and a half to two weeks after we broke up. But because we weren't in the public eye [the show had not aired yet], I had to sit back and deal with that. So I feel like this time around, I did it in a really respectful way.
Cosmopolitan UK contacted Alex to ask him if he had prior knowledge of the photos and he confirmed he knew of the first image being shared, but was not asked about the second batch of images.
When asked if he had posted photos of his new partner shortly after breaking up with Elys, Alex said: "I posted a Story of me and the girl that I was seeing on my Close Friends story but I had no idea that Elys was still on my Close Friends."
Why did you delete his comment?
I didn't want any negativity, I thought it was such a silly comment.
Some of the comments on your post are asking if you're posting the pictures because you're 'not over the relationship', how do you feel about that?
I find it quite funny to be honest. I'm very much over the relationship now and I've moved on to bigger and better things. I think it actually shows a level of maturity that you can post your ex on your social media.
If I still was bitter about it, I probably would find this process extremely hard. And I wouldn't want to be sharing past memories that were so amazing together.
I could have stayed quiet about everything and held my head high after winning. But instead I didn't, and I wanted to let everyone in and be open and share what had happened after because I felt I'd be so open and vulnerable on the show, it was only fair to do that after.
So, will you be taking the pictures down?
No! I don't see any harm in them. I'm still failing to understand what the issue it with them to be honest. They're really lovely photos.
What happened with your relationship after the show?
It was very fun and very passionate. It's like having a whole new relationship outside of the show because you're left alone.
I think we had very different lifestyles on the outside. Ironically, I'm actually the one who travels a lot. On the show Alex said that he travels all the time, but actually I travel a lot and I was working quite hard after the show. And it seemed as though he was just in Devon going to the gym. So there was a difference in motivation and career paths.
I guess you see someone's true colours when you come outside of such a honeymoon setting.
How did your relationship end?
I broke up with him, but he agreed. We've never had that in-person closure ever, it was a phone call that went very wrong. And then we didn't have any contact for a very long time. We were meant to be going to a festival together that weekend and that weekend is when he met his new girlfriend. And literally two weeks later, it was on social media.
In a statement provided to Cosmopolitan UK, Alex said: "We had a phone call that went on for so long, we just weren't really compatible. We didn't have a lot of contact and then not long after that, I think it was a couple of weeks, I did meet another girl."
Will you be sharing any more content from your relationship with Alex?
It's my Instagram and if I want to post more content, I will. A lot of people are loving seeing that side of it. I've got a great YouTube that could be posted.
One final question, a lot of people have wondered if you spent your prize fund on Alex?
Absolutely not. I bought my first designer bag for myself, I saved a lot and I've been drinking a lot of rosé.
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