Former Love Island star Kaz Crossley has spoken publicly for the first time since she was detained in the United Arab Emirates, after a leaked video from 2020 showed her snorting a white substance in Dubai.
The 28-year-old reality star said she “will not allow my past to define me,” and admitted she had made “a lot of mistakes”.
“It was me in the video. No one forced me to do that,” she said.
Crossley was detained at Abu Dhabi airport while travelling to Thailand earlier this month, and spent several nights in a jail cell.
Speaking about the incident on Instagram, Crossley said the video had been taken in secret and leaked.
“It completely destroyed my mental health,” she said.
“My family was so worried about me. I was not in a good way, being trolled online every day. I’ve had to do a lot of healing.”
While the incident had been widely reported, she said she had not spoken to any media directly about it.
Crossley said: “It was a time of my life where I definitely didn’t love myself at all probably, and this is reflected in what I was doing to my body and who I surrounded myself with.
“I have made mistakes, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But I will not allow my past to define who I am now, because I’m really truly falling in love with myself and the person that I’m becoming.
“It’s been a crazy, long journey, but I’m surrounding myself now with people who made me feel so seen, so safe.
“I’m just excited to really now just step fully into my power and take control of my life, take responsibility and move forward because I am so blessed to be here.”
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Fellow Love Islanders Zara McDermott and Laura Anderson, who starred in the same series of the show in 2018, were quick to offer their support in the comments section of her post.
McDermott wrote: “There is no adult human being on this planet who has not made a single mistake; yet people are so quick to judge and it’s something I’ll never get my head around.
“You have done incredible work with so many children and you have changed lives; we’ve all seen it and you have a wonderful heart!
“One mistake doesn’t define you, it’s the value you add to the world; and that’s a lot.”
Anderson added: “My girl…We also know that honesty is the best policy which has set you free from any mistakes.
“I love you and knowing you these past 5 years has been such a pleasure to see you grow.”
Crossley joined series four of the ITV show as a new contestant when the infamous Casa Amor was introduced.
She and fellow contestant Josh Denzel went on to finish in third place in the final behind Anderson and Paul Knops, and Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham.