Caroline Flack told police she would kill herself after alleged attack on boyfriend

Love Island presenter ‘will be forever in our hearts’, ITV says

Jon Sharman
Monday 17 February 2020 09:26 GMT
Laura Whitmore attacks clickbait news and online trolls in emotional radio tribute to Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack had warned police officers she would take her own life following allegations she assaulted her boyfriend in December.

The former Love Island presenter was found dead of suicide at the age of 40, at her home in east London on Saturday.

Ms Flack, whose managers described her as “vulnerable”, had denied attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton at her old flat in north London in a court hearing in December.

Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard that, in the aftermath of the alleged incident, Ms Flack told police “I did it” and then warned she would kill herself. She was arrested and charged with assault by beating after police were called to her Islington flat on 12 December.

The Metropolitan Police declined to comment. Further details may come out at an inquest, however.

Ms Flack stepped down from presenting the current winter series of Love Island after the alleged assault. The ITV programme did not air on Sunday night, but will return on Monday with a tribute to her.

An ITV spokeswoman said: “Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection. All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.

“After careful consultation between Caroline’s representatives and the Love Island production team and given how close we still are to the news of Caroline’s tragic death we have decided not to broadcast tonight’s Love Island out of respect for Caroline’s family.

Love Island will return tomorrow night which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts.”

Ambulance crews were called on Friday night to a property in Clapton, north east London, where Flack was thought to have recently moved – but a London Ambulance Service (LAS) spokesman refused to confirm or deny reports the paramedics attended her flat.

An LAS statement said: “We were called shortly after 10.30pm on 14 February to a residential property on Northwold Road, N16. Crews attended and, following a clinical assessment, the person was not taken to hospital. Due to patient confidentiality we cannot comment further.”

The LAS also said crews were called to Northwold Road at 2.30pm on Saturday, adding that “a person was pronounced dead at the scene”, but would not comment on whether the two incidents were linked.

The news prompted a flood of tributes from celebrities. But it also brought questions about the decision to persist with prosecuting Ms Flack for the alleged assault on her boyfriend, and about the pressures faced by TV celebrities from traditional and social media.

Ms Flack’s management company criticised the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for pressing ahead with what it called her “show trial” even after her boyfriend said he did not support the prosecution.

By Sunday evening, an online petition calling for a government inquiry into “the practices and policies of mainstream media organisations and social media platforms in their efforts to protect members of the public from harm” had more than 200,000 signatures.

The tragedy has put the spotlight back on the pressures which come with celebrity. Ms Flack is the fourth person linked to Love Island to have taken their own life.

Sophie Gradon, who was a contestant in 2016, was found dead at her home in 2018 at the age of 32. Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who had discovered her body, killed himself three weeks later. He was 25.

Mike Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was 26 when he was found dead in a park in March last year.

Additional reporting by Press Association

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, you can receive confidential support at Samaritans by calling 116 124 or visiting their website

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