Michael Owen defends daughter Gemma after Love Island backlash
The former England international described his daughter as "The most amazing girl you could meet."
Speaking to The Daily Mail, the former England international footballer explained that it had been tough for him and the rest of his family to read the comments, and said that most of the criticisms he'd seen were wide of the mark.
"It’s hard because I have three other kids and this is their sister and they are reading this stuff," he explained, adding that his wife Louise had also struggled.
"I know she’s been used to that sort of thing with me — I’ve had it all my life; to look at my social media feeds you’d think 70 percent of the world hates me, but it’s different when it’s your daughter," he continued.
And he said that comments about her personality were the hardest to take, describing her as "The most amazing girl you could meet."
"She’s clever and funny and kind," he said. "She’s not two-faced. She’s loyal, a decent person. She’s still our baby. I’m still my parents’ baby and I’m 42! It’s how it is."
One criticism that Owen reckons is "fair comment" relates to the 19-year-olds age, but although he described her as "achingly young" he still thinks she's old enough to handle things well.
"She has had two years more than I had to get ready for life in the public eye," he said. "'Also, she’s a mature 19. She’s a bit like me in that regard. 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."
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press before entering the Love Island villa, Gemma had explained that Michael initially wasn't too happy that she had signed up for the dating show.
"I still wouldn't say he was buzzing about the fact," she said. "But he's very supportive with whatever I decide to do.
"He didn't have a massive tantrum or anything like that. It was pretty chilled. He sort of trusts me not to do anything and not to embarrass him or anything like that. So I guess he took it quite well."