Former professional footballer Michael Owen is not impressed with his 19-year-old daughter’s appearance on the reality show Love Island.
Owen told Daily Mail that viewing his daughter’s move on TV was “not something any father wants to watch.”
The former Liverpool striker, who was earlier reluctant to talk about his daughter, said he was out of the country when the reality show made its return to the screens. However, upon switching on the TV to find out how his daughter was doing, Owen said he was greeted by a scene of Gemma coupling up with an Italian called Davide, who is eight years older than her.
“It’s not something any father wants to watch, is it? I said to Louise (his wife), ‘do they really have to sleep together, like in the same bed?’ She said ‘yes’. I said ‘I did not bank on this’,” he told Daily Mail.
However, Owen added that he was glad there was no physical contact between Gemma and Davide.
“Luckily for me, there was no physical contact. Gemma had her back to the guy. There was space between them. I thought, ‘Good girl’. No father wants to see physical contact, do they? I certainly don’t.
“If there is physical contact I think I’ll be throwing something at the screen. I don’t want to see kissing. Do not make me see kissing!” Owen said.
Owen further disclosed that Gemma asked for her parents’ blessings before she appeared in the show.
“She wanted our blessing. She would never do something if she thought we’d be ashamed or disappointed in her, or her grandparents would be disappointed,” said Owen.
Instead of denying his daughter the chance to be on reality TV, Owen said he opted to show her support, adding that he trusted Gemma not to do “anything that’ll make us ashamed.”
“You have two choices. You can either say, ‘no way. No daughter of mine…’, or you can be supportive. I think being supportive is always the better option. I suppose it comes down to love and trust.
“It wouldn’t have been my choice, but at some point you’ve got to trust your own parenting. You have to let them go, spread their wings. She’s a sensible girl. She won’t do anything that’ll make us ashamed.”
Owen’s sentiments come after an online debate on whether it’s appropriate for Gemma to be on reality TV shows such as Love Island, given that she is still a teenager. The former footballer, however, equated the debate to his own situation, playing for Liverpool at only 17 and having to make friends with older people.
“I was playing for Liverpool when I was 17, and having to make friends with 23, 24, 25-year-olds. The bottom line is, she’s an adult and I have to trust her to make sensible decisions,” said Owen.