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ITV star says she ‘felt guilty’ after tricking fans with fake ‘£250,000 romance’

Harry Johnson and Chloe Burrows
The showmance could have been lucrative (Picture: Aaron Parfitt/SplashNews.com)

Chloe Burrows faked a romance with Harry Johnson to test if it would boost her earnings.

After chatting with other couples including Liam Reardon and Millie Court, as well as Cara De La Hoyde and Nathan Massey who admitted to staging arguments to make money from pap shots in the past, she decided it was time to test if she could increase her exposure and bank balance by entering into a fake relationship.

‘Now I’ve heard how it all works and the big money involved, I want to put it to the test, it’s time to launch my own showmance,’ she stated on her Channel 4 documentary, Untold: Love in the Limelight.

The Love Island star’s secret mission involved working with a paparazzo to stage photos with Too Hot To Handle star Harry, who was also in on the act.

Chloe, 28, had never met Harry, 31, but they put that aside to head out on a romantic dog walk in the park. It wasn’t just their prior connection that was faked, even the dog didn’t belong to either of them! To make it seem realistic, they also took photos together at a restaurant, and emerging from a hotel.

Their plan worked with the photos appearing in publications, and across social media. It wasn’t long before clothing brands worn in the shots began to get in touch, and monetary offers for an interview came in.

Now, she’s revealed to Metro.co.uk how she felt when things began to escalate. Although, she was initially excited about staging the relationship and found the experience fun, when people began to comment on the pairing she began to feel differently.

Chloe Burrows
Chloe Burrows has conducted an experiment for her new documentary (Picture: Tom Barnes / Channel 4)
Love Island's Chloe Burrows and Too Hot to Handle's Harry Johnson walking their dog
Chloe and Harry headed out for a dog walk together despite never meeting before (Picture: Aaron Parfitt/Backgrid)

‘I was apprehensive before we began as I’ve not been pictured with a man since my ex-boyfriend but mainly it was a chill experience,’ she recalled. Chloe split with Toby Aromolaran, her Love Island 2021 co-star, around a year after leaving the show. ‘When the photos came out I was on a skiing trip and I deliberately didn’t look. I was happy that it had worked but I felt guilty that it wasn’t truthful. The one comfort was knowing that eventually, the documentary would explain all. Some people did clock on, my followers know me well.’

Chloe calls herself a newbie in the industry and was totally unaware that celebrities called paparazzi on themselves. She values her privacy and doesn’t see herself partaking in the practice again in the future. However, quickly added: ‘I mean, never say never now I know how much they’re making.’

‘If I really was going to be serious, that is so easy to make money off,’ Chloe remarked.

‘You can start to see the web of finances that can go behind a reality couple.’

Love Island's Chloe Burrows seen leaving Essex Hotel and bar with Too Hot to Handle's Harry Johnson
Chloe and Harry’s showmance was a success (Picture: Aaron Parfitt / SplashNews.com)

The fake couple met with celebrity agent Dave Read in the documentary, who manages celebrities including Joey Essex and Hannah Elizabeth, to discuss the potential next steps.

Dave informed the pair that engagement on social media was high, they’d both increased their followers on Instagram by up to 5%, and he could see a lucrative future.

Part of their earnings could come from pap shots of them house-hunting and engagement ring shopping, and brand deals for household companies, he explained.

‘There’s no reason that between you in one year you couldn’t bank a quarter of a million pounds,’ he revealed to a shocked Chloe.

However, despite the earning potential, Chloe felt she would mentally struggle with going down that road of having more attention and presenting something to the public that isn’t real.

Love Island's Chloe Burrows seen leaving Essex Hotel and bar with Too Hot to Handle's Harry Johnson
Dave thought the couple had earning potential (Picture: Aaron Parfitt / SplashNews.com)

Harry enjoyed a bigger increase in social media followers due to Chloe’s larger fanbase. He left the experiment with 18,000 extra followers, and this is something that she’d never previously considered happening. Despite now being aware of the potential exposure she could give a love interest, it’s not something she wants to concern herself with and instead hopes to take people at ‘face value’.

Despite her determination to remain optimistic that people are in it for the right reasons – dating has undeniably changed for Chloe, with there now being extra considerations.

‘I just had to worry about if my friends and family liked them before, but now I’m wary of the public being interested and I don’t want to let them down.

‘I don’t want to be tied to anyone unless we are bloody serious. I’m more hesitant, but I’m still a lover girl,’ she stressed.

Chloe Burrows and Toby Aromolaran
Chloe and Toby made it to the Love Island final (Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/REX)

A relationship can lead to an increase in engagement from fans, and for Chloe, who admits to often checking what people say about her, that can make things more complicated too. If she sees something bad then her ‘whole day is ruined’. ‘It’s like a grey cloud,’ she summarised.

‘I’m learning that I can’t be in control of other thoughts so I shouldn’t be affected, but it’s hard because I’m a person, not a product.’

Following her breakup with Toby, Chloe has naturally been more private with her love life but informs us that it can be fun to have public support for your romance.

‘The highs are definitely higher,’ she honestly reveals.

‘I wouldn’t say that the lows are lower, because when relationships are bad, they’re just bad. Heartbreak is the same with or without fame.’

Chloe acknowledges that the year-long relationship with Toby has helped her to reach this part of her career. Chloe has a podcast called Chloe vs The World, regularly appears on radio and TV, and is often flown around the world with brands.

‘I’m very aware that I went on Love Island, I was in a very public relationship that people invested in and they watched the whole journey. That contributes massively to what I’m doing now, and I’m so grateful for that but is it worth it?’ she asked.

Chloe tells us that after consideration it has been worth it, and if she could go back in time, she’d still walk back through the days of the Love Island villa.

‘I’d absolutely do it all again,’ says Chloe. The Stacey Dooley superfan plans to use what she’s been given to continue making documentaries about subjects that personally interest her.

Untold: Love in the Limelight is available to stream on Channel 4

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