Former Love Island contestant Montana Brown has said that Mike Thalassitis was in a “dark place” in the months before his death.

Brown appeared in the 2017 series of the ITV2 show alongside Thalassitis, who has died aged 26.

In a tribute on Instagram, she said she wished she had done more and revealed he had turned to self-help books in recent months.

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I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to say, I’ve woken up and unfortunately this wasn’t just a nightmare so this is to you Mr Thala. Firstly, I’m so angry at you for doing this because you are so loved by so many people and I just wish you picked up the phone so we could’ve sorted this out. This didn’t need to happen😭. Secondly, it annoys me that you were so misunderstood. “Muggy Mike” was your stage name and let’s face it, the ladies did fall at your feet BUT everyone had this impression of you and you were literally the opposite you were one of a kind. Mike, you were so thoughtful, caring and loyal to me and all your friends, you know some of my darkest secrets and I know yours. I could always rely on you to tell me when I’m being a nut job to Elliott and tell me to get off his case 😂 and I always told you to stop partying too much and getting too pissed😂🙈 I just wish people had a tiny glimpse of what the real you was like. You sent me a Christmas card in the post this year, you checked up on me everyday at the beginning of this year when I was struggling myself, you really were the kindest, sweetest person and I am so devastated and crushed that I’ll never get to see you again. Now I know you were in a dark place a few months back and I thought you were past it and that you were on the up. I got you to buy The Magic, you wrote down your gratitudes, you had the pictures of your family in your car to remind you to be grateful for them. I just don’t know how I didn’t notice… I am absolutely heart broken that I couldn’t help you. Your phone call a few days ago to tell me that I’m smashing the swimwear, you’re proud of me and that you’re grateful for my friendship is the only thing that’s keeping me going right now. At least you knew how much you meant to me. I will help open your cafe with Scott because you worked so hard on it so don’t you worry! I can’t imagine how much pain you must have been in to do this, and the fact that you went through this on your own breaks my heart. I’m so so sorry I couldn’t do more to help you. I have so much love for you Mike and I will never forget you. Sleep tight darling and I miss you so much already 💙

A post shared by M O N T A N A B R O W N (@montanarosebrown1) on Mar 17, 2019 at 2:25am PDT

Reality television star Thalassitis died on Friday, his management confirmed, with reports suggesting he was found near his home in Essex.

Brown also revealed details of their last phone call, in which Thalassitis congratulated her on a recent swimwear launch.

She said: “Now I know you were in a dark place a few months back and I thought you were past it and that you were on the up.

“I got you to buy (self-help book) The Magic, you wrote down your gratitudes, you had the pictures of your family in your car to remind you to be grateful for them.

“I just don’t know how I didn’t notice… I am absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t help you.

“Your phone call a few days ago to tell me that I’m smashing the swimwear, you’re proud of me and that you’re grateful for my friendship is the only thing that’s keeping me going right now.

“At least you knew how much you meant to me.”

Revlon x Adwoa Aboah Photocall – London Fashion Week September 2018Montana Brown appeared on Love Island with Thalassitis (Ian West/PA)

Thalassitis found fame on the 2017 series of the ITV competitive dating show, earning the nickname “Muggy Mike” after partnering with fellow islander Chris Hughes’ girlfriend Olivia Attwood.

Brown added: “I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to say, I’ve woken up and unfortunately this wasn’t just a nightmare so this is to you Mr Thala.

“Firstly, I’m so angry at you for doing this because you are so loved by so many people and I just wish you picked up the phone so we could’ve sorted this out. This didn’t need to happen.

“Secondly, it annoys me that you were so misunderstood. ‘Muggy Mike’ was your stage name and let’s face it, the ladies did fall at your feet BUT everyone had this impression of you and you were literally the opposite you were one of a kind.”