One of Love Island Malta’s fresh contestants Kyonne Gravina has appealed for people to get to know him for who he is and not judge him over his father’s past crimes.

On Wednesday the Love Island Malta production team released a video introducing Gravina as one of the contestants for the reality show’s second season.

Kyonne, 18, is the son of Keith Gravina, who was jailed last year for beating up a woman. He died by suicide in April five months after seriously harming himself in his prison cell.

Kyonne, 18, on how he hopes Love Island viewers will see him for himself. Video: Chris Sant Fournier

“I wish people would see that I’m not him. I know what he did was wrong and I hope I can use my experience on Love Island to show people that I’m different,” Kyonne told Times of Malta.

“I couldn’t control what my father did. He did those things, not me. I am Kyonne, he is Keith: we’re two different people. I may look a bit like him but I didn’t do the things he did.”

Times of Malta sat down with Kyonne for a short interview after his father died, at which point he revealed he had also applied to join Love Island Malta.

From the villa where he will be staying for the next few weeks, Kyonne will not be able to see what people are saying about him on social media, but he expects some hate comments about his decision to join Love Island and his family's past.

“I’ll try, as much as I can, to not let them affect me. After all, I can’t control what people think and say. I don’t think they have reason to hate on me but it’s up to them, I can’t stop them.”

Father guilty for beating up woman

His father Keith was handed a four-year prison sentence last November after he was found guilty of beating up a woman in her home in 2018. The woman had told court Gravina punched her, took her clothes off and "tried to kill her" with an extension cord.

A chef and restaurant owner, Gravina separately stood accused of assaulting another woman last October, injuring her grievously by hitting her with a metal rod, holding her against her will, as well as unlawful possession and procurement of cocaine.

Police had told court that after receiving reports of screams coming from Gravina’s diner, they had found the woman half-naked on the floor, covered in blood.

Just days after Gravina was sentenced for his first crime – and while the case for the second alleged crime was still pending in court – he seriously harmed himself in his prison cell and almost died.

Gravina, 42, survived the incident but died last month, after spending five months in hospital.

'I understand people are angry'

Kyonne said he was distraught by the accusations surrounding his father. On one hand, he loved him as his father, on the other he couldn't accept or justify his actions.

“I understand that people are angry. He did bad things, not just to that woman but also to my mother, and I saw some horrible things myself.

"It was not right and I used to argue with him [about his behaviour],” he said.

A younger Kyonne with his father.A younger Kyonne with his father.

“I would sometimes go help him at the diner and I would try to talk some sense into him. I continued to help him as I could, hoping that one day I’d have a good father, just like everyone else.

"I kept longing for a father figure because I never had one, and I kept trying till the end.

“I now hope people can understand that I’m not like him – rather that I grew up differently, stronger, thanks to that harsh past.”

Saddened but not shocked

Kyonne said he was saddened to hear his father had harmed himself in prison last November, but admitted he was not shocked.

“He had already attempted something like that before, and when I heard he was jailed for four years I suspected he would not be able to take it for that long,” he said.

“I knew there wasn’t much hope that he would survive from the minute I saw him in hospital after the self-harm incident. I was so angry at him but it wasn’t nice seeing him like that either.”

Kyonne (right) with his father Keith.Kyonne (right) with his father Keith.

Kyonne now hopes to move forward towards a peaceful life.

“All I want in life is to be successful, have a family and see my mother happy. That’s the most important thing.”

The second season of the widely followed and often controversial reality show starts on Sunday on TVM and airs almost every day in May and June.

The show is a local iteration of the UK-led reality franchise that follows “single and ready to mingle” contestants, better known as “islanders”, as they compete for the prize money by coupling up and surviving public vote eliminations.

If you are feeling depressed and need support, or need guidance on how to help someone who is suicidal, call 1579. You can also call Richmond Malta’s helpline on 1770. One can also type on their desktop, mobile or tablet browser to chat with a professional. If you have been affected by suicide you can call Victim Support Malta on 2122 8333 or

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.