Booted Love Island contestant Martin Akinola has revealed the real reason Shaq Muhammad was left crying after the show’s infamous Movie Night.
The senior software engineer, 27, was at the centre of the controversy after Tanya Menhenga, 22, coupled up with him despite being in one of the show’s strongest relationships with Shaq, who she had previously cemented her love for by taking their romance all the way and having sex in the villa.
But after reuniting with Shaq following days of growing close to Martin and kissing the Irishman in bed together, Tanya went back to her original partner.
Martin has claimed it was a secret chat which wasn’t aired on the ITV2 show that caused the ‘fuming’ airport security officer, 24, to burst into tears – while also hinting he is ‘playing a game’ by staying with Tanya.
He claimed to have told Shaq the biomedical science student didn’t object when he said to her, ‘Shaq might be in love with you but I don’t think you are as well,’ when they first got to know each other in the Casa Amor segment.
Shock: Booted Love Island contestant Martin Akinola (pictured) has revealed the real reason Shaq Muhammad was left crying after the show’s infamous Movie Night
Martin also alleged to have said Tanya had been flirting within five minutes of their first conversation and that he would f**k ‘your girl in ways you can’t imagine’.
He said his fellow Islander was left ‘fuming’ by the revelation and broke down, while insisting Shaq only remained in a couple with Tanya to stay on the show.
During an appearance on the Reality With Will Njobvu podcast, Martin told the presenter, ‘He was crying that night and everyone thought he was crying because of Movie Night but he was crying cos of what I told him. He was fuming.’
Hinting Shaq is playing a game, Martin said the London-native ‘100 percent’ would not have tolerated Tanya’s ‘lies’ in the outside world and that he believes he’s staying with her to save himself from being dumped.
He said: ‘I was surprised he took her back but I understand it cos if he didn’t take her back, he would have gone home. It’s a game show and you have to play the game.
‘Even after when Casa happened, he was like, “It’s done,” but then he said, “Okay I’ll speak to her.”
‘He wants to try and make it to the final, I wouldn’t have done it, I was like f**k you. I one hundred believe that’s what happened, everyone’s playing the game. Tanya told him loads of lies and BS. I was backed by Maxwell as well.’
During a shock recoupling after the Islanders’ Casa Amor antics, viewers watched on as Tanya was left with her two love interests standing in front of her.
Bawling: Martin has claimed it was a secret chat which wasn’t aired on the ITV2 show that caused the ‘fuming’ airport security officer, 24, (pictured) to burst into tears
Upset: Shaq was consoled by Tom Clare as he wept in scenes aired last month
The Liverpool-native had been coupled up with Shaq from the first day of the show, before having her head turned with Martin during Casa Amor.
Despite bringing him back to the main villa, the duo quickly fizzled out as she rekindled things with Shaq – expressing her love for him during the recoupling speech as she left Martin single.
But during his latest podcast appearance, Martin told how the recoupling took five hours to film and that Tanya had written two speeches in case Shaq’s head had turned too.
He said, ‘I told Tanya, Shaq is not going to re-couple. All the boys told her and she was like, “No, I don’t care.”
‘Meanwhile, she wrote two speeches, one for if Shaq recoupled and another for if she didn’t. We got to the main villa, Jessie had just gone in, we were behind the doors and she said, “Martin don’t be cheeky please, let me do all the talking.”
‘I was p****d, I was like, “Why cant I talk?” She was getting nervous, her legs were shaking, it felt to me like she was scared.
‘She started rewriting her speech with the producers to make it seem better and this time she said something about speed bumps and I was like, “Wait, wait, what? That’s not what we said!”
Spilling the tea: During an appearance on the Reality With Will Njobvu podcast, Martin told the presenter, ‘He was crying cos of what I told him. He was fuming’
Sent packing: The TV star (right) was dumped from the villa after his only love interest Tanya went back to her former relationship with Shaq (left)
His side: Martin also alleged to have said Tanya had been flirting within five minutes of their first conversation and that he would f**k ‘your girl in ways you can’t imagine’
‘They said, “Go guys, it’s your turn.” That’s why, when I went out, I was fuming already and I came with a stern look. I was thinking, “This girl is gonna embarrass me, I’m gonna get embarrassed on TV today.”
‘Then she did the exchange with Shaq… my head was hot, I was like, “God, please, why me?” because I had the conversation with her early in the day and she said no and then she’s saying to him, “We can get back…”‘
Martin went on to accuse Kai of ignoring him for two days after the recoupling due to his friendship with Shaq, but admitted he wasn’t upset.
He said, ‘Kai came up to me and said, “I’m not talking to you cos Shaq is my boy,” but I rate it. He’s a real man and Shaq is his boy. He didn’t talk to me for 2 days.’
When asked about his relationship with Shaq previously, Martin said: ‘Me and Shaq never had a problem. Yes, it got awkward sometimes, but we never had a problem.
‘We handled our issues as men, very mature, we never had a row or words with each other, none of that. We just talked things out. I never had a problem with Shaq.’
MailOnline has contacted ITV representatives for comment.
Martin previously accused his female co-stars of ‘double standards’ after they sided with Tanya despite her leaving him ‘humiliated on national TV.’
In his first interview since being dumped from the villa, Martin told MailOnline that if the roles were reversed and a woman was subjected to the same devastating outcome as him, there would have been a ‘riot’ and complaints made to Ofcom.
Controversy: After reuniting with Shaq following days of growing close to Martin and kissing the Irishman in bed, Tanya went back to her original partner and had the full support of her female Islanders
Drama: Martin was at the centre of the controversy after Tanya coupled up with him despite being in one of the show’s strongest relationships with Shaq
The dating show became embroiled in a ‘toxic femininity’ row after viewers blasted the female contestants of hypocrisy for celebrating their ‘sisterhood’ while behaving in the same way as the men.
Martin said: ‘There’s a lot of double standards right now… 120 per cent.
‘Do you know how horrible it was having to watch Tanya and Shaq literally snog across from me every day? Every day I saw it.
‘Obviously if the roles were reversed there would have been a riot. I would have had so many complaints to Ofcom.
‘At no point did the girls tell Tanya that she was in the wrong, they literally did not do that. They supported each other. I was thinking ‘what’s going on here?’
The TV star was dumped from the villa after his only love interest Tanya went back to her former relationship with Shaq.
Martin knew as a single contestant his days were numbered but he even considered quitting to escape the torment of watching Tanya and Shaq cosy up together.
To add insult to injury, he was left disgusted after discovering three torn condom wrappers in the drawers of the bed he shared with Tanya, knowing they had been used with Shaq when they slept in the very same bed together.
He said: ‘I didn’t cry… I’m a strong guy and I don’t let anything rattle me, but do you know what… when we went back to the main villa, they put me and Tanya in the same bed she shared with Shaq from day one. I was like this is savage… why would you do this?
Worrying: Martin knew as a single contestant his days were numbered but he even considered quitting to escape the torment of watching Tanya and Shaq cosy up together
Disgusting: He was left disgusted after finding three torn condom wrappers in the drawers of the bed he shared with Tanya, knowing they had been used with Shaq when they slept in the same bed
‘There was a time I opened one of the drawers underneath the bed and I found three torn condom wrappers… I was looking for a space to put my shoes and I saw that!’
While Martin struggled to cope with being in a love triangle, so did his competitor Shaq, who sobbed to co-star Tom Clare after being shown footage of Tanya playing away during the show’s infamous Movie Night.
Meanwhile, concern grew for another male contestant, farmer Will Young, who cried after the girls jumped to the defence of his love interest Australian Jessie Wynter when he kissed another girl in Casa Amor.
None of the women condemned Tanya for her actions, which saw her snog Martin in bed while Shaq remained loyal.
Although Martin didn’t break down in tears, he says his feelings for Tanya were genuine and he was heartbroken when she dropped him, but he attempted to not showing the true depth of his suffering on camera.
He said: ‘My feelings for Tanya were quite strong and they were developing.
‘The connection was real, our vibes were great, from the first day, the first five minutes it was there. We were having pillow talks, it was obvious we had an emotional connection and a lot of sexual chemistry… everything was right.
‘That is why it felt even worse when she went back to Shaq… I was devastated but I’m a strong guy, I’m not going to show that on camera.’
Hilarious: Although Martin, who became a meme for his popcorn eating during Movie Night, didn’t break down in tears, he says his feelings for Tanya were genuine and he was heartbroken when she dropped him
Surprise: None of the women condemned Tanya for her actions, which saw her snog Martin in bed while Shaq remained loyal, during Movie Night, where clips from Casa Amor were played
Martin also feels Tanya deceived him and wasn’t entirely honest with her emotions after she had bought him back to the main villa to continue pursuing their romantic connection.
The Dublin-born Islander felt Tanya withdraw and even her body language changed as soon as she was reunited with Shaq but says she claimed her sudden switch in behaviour was because she felt ‘homesick.’
He revealed: ‘She said she was homesick and that’s why she backed off from me in the main villa… a lot of lies were being told.
‘I’m being told now she was saying that she wanted Shaq back but she said to me that she was homesick, and I asked her if it was about Shaq and she said it had nothing to do with him or me, but it was a lie.
‘She made me believe I was overthinking everything. Her body language changed, I noticed it, but she denied it and told me ‘no, Martin it’s just in your head’ but I could see it.
‘In Casa Amor she would sit close to me but in the main villa she sat 10 miles away from me like I was some diseased person.
‘She made me look like an idiot in front of everyone and she made out that I was crazy thinking all these things.’
He believes Tanya, who left the bed she shared with Martin to sneakily kiss Shaq in the middle of the night, isn’t genuine and doubts the longevity of their romance.
Angry: He believes Tanya, who left the bed she shared with Martin to sneakily kiss Shaq in the middle of the night, isn’t genuine and doubts the longevity of their romance
Fingers crossed: Martin, who’s a close friend of 2022 Islander Dami Hope, says he aspires to follow in his footsteps and pursue his love of fashion, and is even open to further TV work
Martin said: ‘I wish them luck on the show because I hope they go far. But do I believe they’re going to work on the outside? Personally, I don’t think we will see that.
‘Feelings are feelings but my personal opinion is that Tanya’s aren’t real for Shaq. She was swayed too easily. I can’t imagine being in love with someone and being swayed with 5-10 minutes of a conversation… I’m not sure her feelings are genuine but I do hope they go far. I hope I wasn’t humiliated on national TV for nothing!’
Martin, who’s a close friend of 2022 Islander Dami Hope, says he aspires to follow in his footsteps and pursue his love of fashion, and is even open to further TV work.
He said: ‘I still want to be an engineer, but I also want to explore fashion.
‘Before Love Island I have always been interested in fashion and I would love to explore that more deeply. I like sustainable items and I hope to get into that circle and go to Fashion Week… basically similar to what Dami has achieved.
‘We have both always looked up to each other, but I hope to do things he has done because I find it very interesting.
I am open to presenting, I want to do everything, acting, I’m a creative person and want to get into it.’