Curtis Pritchard has lashed out at his ex-girlfriend Maura Higgins and his ‘close’ friend Chris Taylor after learning of their new romance.
The dancer, 24, dated Maura, 30, for seven months after meeting her on the 2019 series of Love Island, where ITV2 dating show where Chris, 30, was also a contestant.
And while his romance with Maura came to an end in March, he has now revealed that he feels ‘hurt’ and ‘betrayed’ after she shared news this week that she’s now moved on to start dating Chris.
Hurt: Curtis Pritchard (right) has lashed out at his ex-girlfriend Maura Higgins (centre) and his ‘close’ friend Chris Taylor (left) after learning of their new romance. Pictured in 2019
Speaking to The Sun, he said: ‘I feel betrayed by them both — two people I was very close to. When I saw the pictures, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel hurt. I was upset. How long has this truly been going on for?’
Denying once again that he was ever unfaithful during his time with Maura, Curtis went on to suggest that Chris was waiting in the wings for the chance to date Maura.
He explained: ‘If you look back on everything — and I am looking back on it now — I’m like, “Curtis, all the signs were bloomin’ there, why didn’t you realise then?”
Romance: Maura and Chris confirmed their romance on Instagram after months of speculation
‘You just don’t when you are in that situation. You trust what they say. Now her true colours are shown. They said they would never ever be together, and here they are.’
Curtis added that he was particularly hurt by Chris because he ‘supported’ and was ‘a really good person’ to him during their time together in the Love Island villa.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Maura and Chris for comment.
Curtis’ interview comes days after Maura and Chris confirmed they are an item, following months of speculation.
Ex factor: The dancer, 24, dated Maura, 30, for seven months after meeting her on the 2019 series of Love Island, where ITV2 dating show where Chris, 30, was also a contestant
The erstwhile Love Island stars took to Instagram on Tuesday night to post identical loved-up snaps, taken by the pool in Dubai.
Maura, who celebrated her birthday this week, and Chris gazed lovingly at each other in the photo, smiling contently, with Maura captioning her post: ‘He’s mine!’
Chris followed suit, writing: ‘Turns out I fell in love with my best mate!’
This was met with sweet replies from fellow Love Island contestants such as Micheal Griffiths and Ellie Brown, who seemed to already be in on the secret.
Laura Anderson also chimed in, added: ‘Why am I crying? #bestnewsever’
TOWIE’s Gemma Collins also commented on the snap, writing: ‘I’m so happy for you.’
The loved up pair looked the picture of happiness – Maura in a champagne satin mini-dress and Chris in his trademark jazzy shirt and ripped skinny jeans.
The secret’s out: This was met with sweet replies from fellow Love Island contestants such as Micheal Griffiths and Ellie Brown, who seemed to already be in on the secret
The couple have fuelled rumours for months with their close friendship but denied they were an item as far back as July.
They first caused tongues to start wagging after making fun Tik Toks together, getting cosy over games of Twister, going on nights out and wearing one another’s dressing gowns.
But Chris – who was coupled up with Harley Brash on the show – and Maura – who split up with her Love Island fling Curtis Pritchard at the start of the year – constantly denied the rumours.
When it was put to them that they’d make the perfect couple Chris replied: ‘Yeah, potentially. We’ve never really thought about it like that, we’re just super close mates.
Long-lost love: Chris was coupled up with Harley Brash on the show, but this did not last long
‘We care about each other, we look out for each other, we basically bully each other.’
The pair did little to halt speculation after sharing a cheeky kiss on camera in a recent social media post.
Chris shared a clip of them kissing on his Instagram account on Thursday, while they took part in the ‘kiss your best friend TikTok challenge’.
In the steamy video, the former Love Islander was seen pulling Maura off the sofa as he tried to persuade her to take part in the video with him.
Kiss: The pair did little to halt speculation after sharing a cheeky kiss on camera in a recent social media post
But Chris took things up a notch as he whipped his shirt off before lifting his pal over his head for a Dirty Dancing-style lift.
When he slowly lowered the brunette beauty back to the ground, he leaned in for a quick peck on the lips, only to have Maura smile and seemingly bat him away.
However, at the end of the video, Maura seemed to lean back in for another kiss after apparently rejecting Chris’s initial advances during the challenge.
Steamy! In the steamy video, the former Love Islander was seen pulling Maura off the sofa as he tried to persuade her to take part in the video with him
But the video was cut short, leaving fans on the edge of their seats as they continue to hope for a blossoming romance between the former Love Islanders.
Alongside the video, Chris penned: ‘Kiss your best friend challenge @maurahiggins . Cheers Tiktok…bloody fantastic idea. Probs shouldn’t have lunged in fairness.’
An unimpressed Maura hilariously commented on the video: ‘Stop trying to kiss your best friend!’
While other former Love Island stars, including Joe Garratt, Georgia Steel and Laura Anderson, quickly flocked to express their shock and ‘love’ for the adorable clip.
Rejection: When Chris slowly lowered the brunette beauty back to the ground, he leaned in for a quick peck on the lips, only to have Maura smile and seemingly bat him away
Peck on the lips: But at the end of the adorable video, Maura seemed to lean back in for another kiss after apparently rejecting Chris’s initial advances during the challenge
But fans could not help but notice Maura seeming to come back to kiss Chris at the end of the video, causing even more speculation about a budding romance.
One excited fan wrote: ‘Looked like she went to kiss you back!’
While another penned: ‘How can you cut it off like that bro , we all saw her go back in for that kiss you can’t fool us’
And a third simply commented: ‘She definitely came back to kiss you.’
Friends: The pair first met on season five of Love Island, with Chris exiting the villa without finding love and Maura leaving the show alongside Curtis Pritchard
Previously speaking to MailOnline, Maura insisted that her relationship with Chris is strictly platonic.
She continued: ‘Chris is one of my best friends. A lot of people have said we’re dating but it’s only because we get on so well.
‘We click and have the same banter. We got on so well in the villa but I don’t think our friendship was shown at all.
‘A lot of people assumed we got friendly outside of the show but that wasn’t the case – we clicked straight away.’
Cheeky! Maura and Chris appeared on Love Island: What Happened next last month, where the former grid girl joked that one day they ‘might be friends with benefits, who knows!’
But they were the centre of more speculation after the pals appeared on Love Island: What Happened next last month.
Speaking during a confessional, Maura admitted she regularly gets asked about their relationship, and said: ‘I get so many messages about me and Chris!’
Chris added: ‘We get on really well, similar personalities and banter… I think finding someone you can be yourself with is really rare.’
While the former grid girl joked: ‘Some day we might be friends with benefits, who knows!’