Troubled star Caroline Flack had warned police she would take her own life, it emerged on Sunday.
The 40-year-old was taking anti-depressants as she battled mental health problems and was terrified of the prospect of her upcoming trial.
It was claimed yesterday paramedics had been sent to her home the day before she was found dead, following fears for her welfare, but she was not taken to hospital.
The distraught TV presenter was understood to be horrified by the prospect of a ‘show trial’ over an alleged assault on her boyfriend and was worried she could not cope with the fallout.
Caroline Flack is pictured above leaving Highbury Magistrates’ Court on 23 December 2019
Flack was last pictured in public on January 24 in north London. She had been replaced on Love Island
Friends said she was tormented over the idea of a jury being shown police ‘body cam’ footage taken during the night she was accused of attacking Lewis Burton, 27. She had hope the trial would not go ahead.
A court had heard police found the pair covered in blood and that Miss Flack had cuts to her wrist. The revelations about her mental health prompted questions about whether she was given enough help to tackle her depression and panic attacks.
Police last night refused to reveal if they had referred the star to mental health services. As stars paid tribute to the Love Island presenter, friends asked if prosecutors, medical professionals and her former bosses at ITV had missed chances to save her.
ITV cancelled scheduled Love Island episodes over the weekend but said the show would return tonight with a tribute to Miss Flack, who presented five series before stepping back following her arrest. In other developments:
Friends said she was tormented over the idea of a jury being shown police ‘body cam’ footage taken during the night she was accused of attacking Lewis Burton (together above)
- Miss Flack’s management called the case against her a ‘show trial’ without merit;
- Mr Burton raged against a court ban which had kept him and Miss Flack apart;
- Fellow TV presenter Laura Whitmore warned of the pressures faced by those in the public eye, saying: ‘It’s gone too far’;
- Government minister Grant Shapps said broadcasters owed a duty of care to reality show contestants and presenters.
Miss Flack died at her home in Stoke Newington, east London, on Saturday.
Boyfriend says ‘my heart is broken’
Caroline Flack’s boyfriend has said he is ‘heartbroken’ by her death.
Lewis Burton said that he will be Miss Flack’s ‘voice’ in the wake of her death and would strive to ‘get the answers’ she now cannot get for herself.
The 27-year-old was ordered by a judge to have no contact with his girlfriend, who was accused of assaulting him in December, ahead of her trial on March 4. He asked the CPS not to press charges.
Flack and Burton pictured together above
‘My heart is broken, we had something so special,’ he wrote in a social media post, which accompanied a photo of the pair cuddling on holiday.
He added: ‘I know you felt safe with me and I was not allowed to be there this time, I kept asking and asking.
‘I will ask the questions you wanted. Nothing will bring you back but I will try to make you proud every day.’
The pair had been dating since last summer when they were spotted in Ibiza. He posted a loving Instagram message to his other half on Valentine’s Day, hours before she took her own life.
Her death is understood to have come just hours after she learned prosecutors had ruled she would face trial over Mr Burton’s alleged assault in December.
Her management team said the Crown Prosecution Service knew she was ‘vulnerable’ and condemned the decision to go ahead with her trial next month. Mr Burton, who made the original 999 call to report the assault, later said he did not want her to face charges.
Miss Flack was found ‘unresponsive’ inside her flat on Saturday and was pronounced dead at the scene. Paramedics were previously called to the road on Friday night. London Ambulance Service said: ‘Crews attended and, following a clinical assessment, the person was not taken to hospital.’
Friends said Miss Flack had become ‘fixated’ by the prospect that police video footage of her arrest would be made public.
A court hearing was told Mr Burton dialled 999 at 5.25am on December 12 and said he was being assaulted by Miss Flack. He told police she had read text messages on his phone and thought he was cheating on her, and had attacked him while he was asleep.
At a hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in North London last year, prosecutors said police found the couple covered in blood and said Miss Flack had two cuts to her left wrist after smashing a glass.
Officers were forced to restrain her, they said, and when she was cautioned, she told police she would kill herself, the court heard.
Her lawyer Paul Morris said Mr Burton disputed the CPS’s account and did not want her to be prosecuted.
An ITV insider insisted it had maintained contact with Miss Flack, and had offered her support.
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123, visit a local branch or go to www.samaritans.org
ITV plunged into crisis over Caroline Flack suicide: Bosses hold talks over Love Island future as stars call for it to be axed for good
ByPaul Revoirand Jennifer Ruby For The Daily Mail
ITV was facing a reality show crisis last night after the suicide of presenter Caroline Flack.
But after talks yesterday, the broadcaster decided to push ahead with the current series of Love Island.
Formerly fronted by Miss Flack, it had already come under intense scrutiny after the suicides of two former contestants in the past two years.
Caroline is pictured above during series five, episode 37 of the hit ITV show Love Island
Two episodes of the ITV2 dating show were cancelled over the weekend but it is set to return tonight with a tribute to its former host.
Miss Flack stepped down from her presenting role in December after she was arrested for an alleged assault on her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.
Love Island stand-in blames online trolls and the Press
New Love Island host Laura Whitmore broke down while attacking online trolls over Caroline Flack’s death.
The presenter was tearful as she opened her radio show yesterday by criticising media scrutiny and those who ‘demonise and tear down success’.
She also appealed to listeners to ‘be kind’ to others after her friend’s death.
Miss Whitmore, 34, replaced Miss Flack for the current series of the ITV2 reality show after she was arrested for assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton.
‘At aged 40 Caroline Flack made a decision to take her own life and I am going to talk about her and give her the respect that she deserves,’ she said when opening her BBC 5 Live show.
Laura Whitmore who broke down during a tribute to her ‘vivacious and loving’ friend Caroline Flack in an emotional tribute on Whitemore’s Sunday morning radio show
She said Miss Flack was ‘vivacious, loving and had a passion for life’.
She added: ‘I’m not going to pretend that she was perfect but is anyone?
‘She lived every mistake publicly under the scrutiny of the media.
‘Caroline loved to love. That’s all she wanted which is why Love Island was important to her because the show is about finding love, friendship, having a laugh.’ Miss Whitmore made clear that the show, which has been criticised after the suicides of two former contestants, was not ‘the problem’.
‘The show is loving and caring and safe and protected. The problem is the outside world is not.’
She added: ‘To the Press who demonise and tear down success, we’ve had enough. To paparazzi and tabloids looking for a cheap sell, to trolls hiding behind a keyboard, enough.
‘So listeners, be kind, only you are responsible for how you treat others.’
Others also paid tribute to the late star. Singer Olly Murs, 35, who presented X Factor with Miss Flack said she was his ‘sister’ and he had not ‘stopped crying’.
Fellow ITV presenters Holly Willoughby, 39, and Phillip Schofield, 57, paid tribute to her on last night’s Dancing On Ice.
A visibly upset Mr Schofield said: ‘We’d like to take a moment to remember Caroline Flack in light of yesterday’s awful news. We wanted to say that our hearts go out to her family and friends.’
The decision to press on with the show, which is due to finish next weekend, shocked industry insiders who expected the broadcaster to cancel it after her death.
Two former contestants – Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis – have taken their lives over the past two years, and Miss Gradon’s boyfriend also killed himself weeks after her death.
One of ITV’s most high-profile presenters, Eamonn Holmes, questioned whether the series should continue out of ‘respect’ for Caroline Flack. Writing on Twitter he said: ‘Caroline Flack… Dear God. Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace.
‘Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely?’
He later added: ‘Meaning out of Respect, can the series continue?’
The main sponsors of Love Island, take away service Just Eat, said it was backing ITV’s decision to pull episodes at the weekend.
Yesterday sources at the broadcaster defended it against suggestions it had not supported Miss Flack enough after her arrest and subsequent charge for assaulting Mr Burton.
An ITV insider said last night: ‘We have been in contact with her and her agent numerous times from the time of the incident in December. We had offered our support to her. We had asked and got reassurances that she was seeking whatever support she needed to help her through this period.
‘We offered our own help and said it is available to her. Caroline and her team were managing their way through that and we offered to provide any support that might be necessary or appropriate.’
The source added: ‘Caroline had an enduring relationship with the Love Island team, with [presenter] Laura Whitmore and [narrator] Iain Stirling. Despite what was happening in her personal life Caroline always indicated her positivity towards Love Island and its place in her life.’
After Saturday and Sunday night’s editions of the ITV2 dating show were pulled, there had been speculation about whether the rest of the series would air.
But yesterday the broadcaster said it would be back tonight with a tribute to Miss Flack.
Confirming that the show would air an ITV spokesman said: ‘Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection. All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.’ Explaining the reasons for cancelling Sunday night’s show he said: ‘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 decided not to broadcast Sunday’s Love Island out of respect for Caroline’s family.
‘Love Island will return on Monday night, which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts.’
Miss Flack is the fourth person linked to the ITV2 dating programme to have killed themselves.Contestant Miss Gradon, who took part in the 2016 series, was found dead in 2018 at the age of 32. Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, 25, killed himself three weeks later. Mike Thalassitis, who took part in the show in 2017, was 26 when he was found dead in March last year.
Last night the hash tag #cancelloveisland was trending on Twitter. Users branded the programme’s format ‘toxic’ and questioned why it was still on air after four suicides when the Jeremy Kyle Show was cancelled after one.
Miss Flack, who was described as ‘vulnerable’ by her management, stepped down from presenting the winter series of Love Island after she was alleged to have assaulted Mr Burton at her flat in Islington, north London, in December.
She entered a not guilty plea to a charge of assault at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court and was released on bail, with conditions that stopped contact with her boyfriend ahead of a trial in March.