Caroline Flack’s friend shares photo from hours before she died

Caroline Flack’s friend has shared what is believed to be the last photograph of the troubled TV star, pictured on Valentine’s Day just hours before she killed herself.

Mollie Grosberg, a TV producer, posted the picture in an Instagram story, saying: ‘Our funny valentine bought us cookies and oat milk this year.’ 

Ms Grosberg added that she is looking after Miss Flack’s dog Ruby, and it comes as reports emerged that Miss Flack had warned police she would take her own life.

The 40-year-old presenter was taking anti-depressants as she battled mental health problems and was terrified of the prospect of her upcoming trial.

It has also been claimed by sources close to Miss Flack’s legal team that the Crown Prosecution Service initially decided not to charge her with assault, but senior police officers pressed for a charging decision, according to The Sun. The CPS declined to comment on the claims today.

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.

Friends said she was tormented over the idea of a jury being shown police ‘bodycam’ footage taken during the night she was accused of attacking Lewis Burton, 27. She had hoped 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.

But TV critic Scott Bryan told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that it was ‘just a bit too soon’ for the programme to return.

He said: ‘Of course there are viewers who would say, well, Love Island isn’t really connected to this. As you have rightly pointed out, the reasons why somebody takes their own life is due to a myriad of different factors.

‘Then some say that it should be as a tribute for Caroline, but also I think many people would say it just feels too soon. I think I’m in that camp – I feel personally it is just a bit too soon.

‘I think it’s just the fact that Love Island is such a bubbly show, such a warm show, such an uplifting show – and it just doesn’t feel like the cultural mood where we are as a country at the moment, I think.

‘I think it’s also just incredibly hard for the crew – Laura Whitmore speaking so passionately, I highly recommend people go and watch it – to continue, essentially, continuing the rest of the series when it’s incredibly difficult on their mental health.

‘But I also want to point out that this has been really devastating news during the weekend, particularly when it’s a familiar face.’

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.

Her management team said the Crown Prosecution Service knew she was ‘vulnerable’ and condemned the decision to go ahead with the case 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 pronounced dead at the scene after being found ‘unresponsive’ inside her flat. 

London Ambulance Service said: ‘Crews attended and, following a clinical assessment, the person was not taken to hospital.’

The star had spoken publicly about her battle with depression and panic attacks, which began after she won Strictly in 2014. 

Friends said she 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 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.

The pair remained in a relationship and begged to be allowed to see each other, but the court imposed bail conditions which banned Miss Flack from contacting Mr Burton, meaning they were forced to spend Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day apart.

Friends said Miss Flack was left feeling isolated and scared and was prescribed anti-depressants again.

One said: ‘Her biggest fear was that the bodycam footage would be made public. She realised that it was going to be shown in court if it came to court.

‘She felt that from that moment her life would be ruined forever. I hear that the footage is quite distressing.’

Miss Flack’s agent Francis Ridley, of Money Talent Management, said: ‘The CPS pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution. 

‘The CPS should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest. And ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline.’

Lawyer Nazir Afzal, a former CPS chief prosecutor, said prosecutors could halt proceedings if the risk to the defendant’s health outweighed the public interest in them standing trial. 

‘But he said they were under pressure to pursue convictions for domestic violence amid concerns that too many prosecutions were dropped.

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

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

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.

ITV has been plunged into crisis as talks over the future of Love Island continue. Pictured above: Callum Jones, Leanne Amaning, Sophie Piper, Ollie Williams, Shaughna Phillips, Jess Gale, Eve Gale, Connor Durman, Nas Majeed, Mike Boateng, Paige Turley and Siannise Fudge

Flack oversees the dumping on Love Island while filming in Spain in June 2019

Flack oversees the dumping on Love Island while filming in Spain in June 2019

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.

Love Island stand-in blames online trolls

Laura Whitmore, on February 12

Laura Whitmore, on February 12

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.

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.’

Miss Flack stepped down from her presenting role in December after she was arrested for an alleged assault on her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.

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.’ 

Flack is pictured above (centre) during series five of the ITV show Love Island in July 2019

Flack is pictured above (centre) during series five of the ITV show Love Island in July 2019

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. 

Contestant Miss Gradon, who took part in the 2016 series, was found dead in 2018 at the age of 32

Mike Thalassitis, who took part in the show in 2017, was 26 when he was found dead in March last year

Contestant Miss Gradon (left), who took part in the 2016 series, was found dead in 2018. Mike Thalassitis (right), who took part in the show in 2017, was found dead in March last year

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.

SARAH VINE: Beautiful, talented Caroline Flack was tried and convicted by the merciless court of social media

The death of Caroline Flack is truly a tragedy. A beautiful, talented, successful young woman who nevertheless felt so worthless and unloved, so scared and hopeless, she decided to take her own life.

Someone who, despite the care and support of friends and family — and of the boyfriend she was banned from seeing — ultimately could not see a way through for herself.

My heart goes out to all who knew and loved her, in particular the friend who was staying with her at the time of her death.

For them her passing is a deep personal sadness. But for the rest of us, for those who never met or knew her save as a charismatic on-screen presence, it also hits hard.

Caroline Flack walking hand in hand with boyfriend Lewis Burton arriving at the Ivy restaurant in Soho, in October last year

Caroline Flack walking hand in hand with boyfriend Lewis Burton arriving at the Ivy restaurant in Soho, in October last year

Because there is something about the nature and circumstances of her death that speaks of a deeper, darker truth about the world we live in, and about the kind of culture we have become.

For there is no doubt in my mind that whatever issues Flack may have been facing, she is as much a victim of her own demons as of social media and its insidious influence on the human psyche — and on society in general.

At the time of her arrest for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, last December, I already felt a sense of foreboding.

It seemed to me that, whatever the circumstances of the incident, there was simply no way this woman could ever receive a fair hearing, especially after her previous boyfriend, Andrew Brady, posted screenshots of a heavily redacted non-disclosure agreement preventing him from discussing a relationship on social media, along with the message ‘abuse has no gender’.

The entire world, it seemed, piled in online, making her decision to step down from ITV’s Love Island inevitable. Within hours her reputation had been destroyed, despite protestations from the alleged victim, who described her as ‘the most lovely girlfriend’.

British TV Presenter Caroline Flack aged 40 was found dead today at her home on Saturday

British TV Presenter Caroline Flack aged 40 was found dead today at her home on Saturday

By this point, it seemed to me, it wouldn’t matter what transpired during the course of any legal process: she had been tried and convicted in the court of social media.

Under the circumstances, even the most robust of individuals, even the most glass-half-full person, would feel utterly atomised.

Having been on the sharp end of such things a few times myself, I have an inkling of how it feels. The wave of negativity hits you with a force that is impossible to describe. 

It sweeps you off your feet, carries you away to far-flung shores of self-doubt and loathing, leaving you shipwrecked in the darkest recesses of your mind.

Friends and family can offer support — but ultimately they are not the ones whose very essence is being shattered into a million pieces, each one a tiny shard of loathing that strikes straight to the heart.

And it doesn’t stop there. Where once organisations and institutions could be relied upon to act as a brake on the madness, to exercise a certain restraint in cases such as Flack’s, now they seem to capitulate at the slightest hint of trouble.

Caroline Flack was found dead at her London flat aged 40. Many have paid tribute to the star

Caroline Flack was found dead at her London flat aged 40. Many have paid tribute to the star 

In the case of ITV, a number of Flack’s close friends have expressed concern that the broadcaster didn’t do enough to protect its star.

In much the same way that it recently treated Alastair Stewart, an ITV employee of some 40 years’ standing, over a stupid Twitter spat about a Shakespeare quotation, when Flack stepped down ITV accepted it and moved on as fast as it could, more concerned about its precious ratings than the wellbeing of this young woman.

As for the CPS, its decision to continue with the prosecution — of which she had learned shortly before she took her own life — seems to the layman utterly baffling.

Certainly on the surface of things it is hard to see what possible purpose it might have served, given that Burton clearly had no wish to press charges. 

Nor was Flack in any obvious way a danger to the public — this was very clearly a domestic dispute, although the full details of exactly what happened that night are still unclear.

The only explanation I can surmise is that its eagerness to prosecute had something to do with the Government’s new focus on cases of domestic violence, as laid out in the recently published Domestic Abuse Bill, which aims, in particular, ‘to address coercive control’ and ‘transform the response in the justice system’.

Heralded as a major breakthrough by women’s groups and campaigners, the Bill places the emphasis on safeguarding victims, in particular cases where perpetrators intimidate their victims into dropping charges. (Note that Flack and Burton were prohibited by a court order from contacting each other.)

Either way, what bitter irony that a principle introduced to protect the vulnerable might have inadvertently led — as Flack’s friends and supporters strongly believe — to her death.

Of course there’s no question that something did happen between Flack and Burton that night; yet we don’t know whether it was simply a row that got a bit out of hand or a symptom of something more systematic and sinister.

But what I do know is this: without social media it would never have spiralled so wildly out of control.

Because for all the tabloids that love a celebrity scandal, the fact remains that even the most salacious elements of the Press are obliged to operate according to strict guidelines which, if breached, can and do lead to serious repercussions. 

Flack is pictured above in a promo shot for the  2019 series. She had previously presented ITV show Love Island

Flack is pictured above in a promo shot for the  2019 series. She had previously presented ITV show Love Island

The same is simply not true of social media. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which play host to torrents of abuse of the vilest kind, are not defined as publishers and are therefore not accountable to the rules of the game.

Nor do the laws of libel and slander rigorously apply, meaning that anyone can more or less say anything they like about anyone — and even more so if the person happens to be high-profile or successful, as was the case with Flack. In fact, the taller the poppy, the more they will try to tear it down.

However stupidly Flack may have behaved, whatever mistakes she may have made, she did not deserve to pay for them with her life.

That is why the Government’s decision, announced last week, to introduce proposals to regulate platforms that host user-generated content is so timely. While free speech campaigners are rightly concerned about its remit, the call for regulation is certainly borne out of good intentions.

Over the past few years these multi-million-pound businesses have made no effort to curb the tens of millions of offensive and illegal posts that populate their platforms.

Thanks to them, we live in a world spittle-flicked with bile, where armies of the professionally offended march at the merest of slights, where gossip and speculation is passed off as truth, where the slightest error of judgment is amplified to destruction and where a person’s reputation can be stripped bare in seconds by a bloodthirsty, rapacious mob from whom there is simply no legitimate protection.

Social media companies have had ample opportunity to police themselves, and yet they have not done so. As a result, countless vulnerable individuals, famous or otherwise, have suffered, and far too many have paid with their lives.

The time has come to drain the swamp — and to hold those ultimately responsible for the death of Caroline Flack finally to account.

Star from the shires lit up TV but never found true happiness: ALISON BOSHOFF on how Caroline Flack struggled to escape crippling anxieties of her childhood

Gazing flirtily into the camera wearing a black bra and vampish red lipstick, in her last Instagram post Caroline Flack was the image of joyful self-confidence.

At 40, she had never looked more beautiful. Yet two days after posting these pictures to her 2.6million followers, in what friends believe was a final Valentine’s message to boyfriend Lewis Burton, the presenter took her own life.

They say the prospect of standing trial over an alleged assault on the 27-year-old – who she considered to be her soulmate – after a jealous row is what drove her to this desperate act.

‘I think that the fact that she did this so soon after being told that the prosecution was going to go ahead is significant,’ said a friend. 

‘The fact that it had been Valentine’s Day and she had been apart from her boyfriend also was a factor I believe.’

For behind the deceptive gloss of social media, there was a different story than the happy one Caroline had struggled to maintain. Hers was a tale of crippling low self-esteem, depression and anxiety that dated back years.

Caroline Flack posted this shot to Instagram, among her last photos on Saturday

Caroline Flack posted this shot to Instagram, among her last photos on Saturday 

Raised in the Norfolk village of Great Hockham, by her father Ian, a pastry chef, and mum Christine, who worked for a local paper, from her earliest days it appears that Caroline felt somewhat insecure.

She constantly compared herself to her non-identical sister Jody, who self-conscious Caroline believed was the prettier, cleverer and more sensible of the two.

Her worries were compounded by her eczema, which made her ‘paranoid’ about her skin, and she hated her ‘skinny’ legs, going to school in up to five pairs of tights to try to make them look more substantial. 

Despite her insecurities, Caroline had her sights set on a more dazzling milieu than she felt Norfolk could offer.

Her great heroine was pop star Kylie Minogue – a pocket Venus like Caroline, who was 5ft 3in tall – and she set out to achieve fame on as big a scale as possible.

Yet when she first began to pursue her showbiz passions, it seemed Jody was ahead of her there, too. ‘When it came to dancing and acting at school my sister was the talented one,’ she said. ‘To get even close to her I had to work incredibly hard.’

Beauty Spot: Presenting ITV's Love Island saw her mixing with the young and the glamorous

Beauty Spot: Presenting ITV’s Love Island saw her mixing with the young and the glamorous

She went on: ‘I’ve always felt the need to overcompensate but I know my limits. My first ambition was musical theatre but I realised quite early on that I wouldn’t make the grade.’

It was a crushing realisation. Yet at just 16, Caroline left home to attend the Bodyworks theatre school in Cambridge.

Somewhat precociously, she never really went home again. However she has always remained close to her family, which include older siblings Paul and Elizabeth, and was stunned when her parents announced they were divorcing recently.

She and Jody – now a mum of three – were particularly close. Caroline observed: ‘We have completely different lives, but we each enjoy the other’s life vicariously. 

I’m very lucky to have a twin. We’re very close – we shared a bed until we were four and we were in the same class at school – but we’re quite different’.

After graduating from theatre school, there were a series of small fry jobs – working in a pork processing factory, waitressing and being a magician’s assistant. 

Sibling rivalry: Caroline (thought to be on the left) always said her twin sister Jody was the prettier and more talented

Sibling rivalry: Caroline (thought to be on the left) always said her twin sister Jody was the prettier and more talented

She got her first break in 2002 as an actress on comedy sketch show Bo’ Selecta! She then went on to present CBBC’s Saturday morning show TMi, gaining fans who would later grow up to watch her on Love Island. 

A stint on Gladiators followed, before she was picked to front the ITV2 spin-off show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here Now! in 2009.

‘Television is where I’m most at home,’ she said. ‘I’m not one of those TV presenters who secretly yearns to be a Hollywood actress. Live telly is what I thrive on.’

By this time, she was starting to get noticed on London’s busy celebrity scene, hanging out with stars like the late Amy Winehouse and comedian Noel Fielding.

A friend said: ‘We would do long long filming days from 9am to 11pm and then she would get a text and say, ‘Right, let’s go out for a drink’. She had so much energy. She was a great drinker but it wasn’t a problem.’

Career break: Caroline Flack with Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes for CBBC show TMI

Career break: Caroline Flack with Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes for CBBC show TMI

As her star rose she became increasingly famous for reported romances with fellow celebrities, including Prince Harry, James Corden and music manager Jack Streets. In 2011 she began dating One Direction’s Harry Styles, then 17 to her 32. Naturally, the band’s fans were appalled.

Caroline, then hosting X Factor spin-off show The Xtra Factor, said: ‘I already knew he had a crush on me. It was flattering and I found it amusing.

‘After Harry was pictured coming out of my house people started shouting ‘paedophile’ at me. 

There was a moment when we thought, ‘s***, this has gone really dark’.’ The backlash – particularly on Twitter – was vicious enough for her to seek therapy after the three-month fling ran its course.

She later said: ‘It comes with the job. I can’t moan about it because I have a really amazing life and I’m very lucky.’ But the threats and abuse troubled her.

One associate described her as ‘a woman of extremes, laughing one moment and crying the next’. After the fling ended she went through a course of neuro-linguistic programming in 2013 to help her rebuild her self-esteem.

The following year she won Strictly Come Dancing. But at this moment of supreme professional triumph, she sank into depression. ‘It all started the day after I won Strictly. I woke up and felt like somebody had covered my body in clingfilm,’ she said.

Caroline Flack pictured during a promotional shoot for Love Island which she previously presented

Caroline Flack pictured during a promotional shoot for Love Island which she previously presented

‘I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year. I felt ridiculous, being so sad when I’d just won the biggest show on telly and had such an amazing job.

‘However, I felt like I was being held together by a piece of string which could snap at any time. Anti-depressants helped me get up in the morning, and stopped me from being sad, but what they also do is stop you from being happy.’

Soon after, she was promoted to co-host The X Factor with singer Olly Murs. Yet the critics were unkind, and after suffering panic attacks in her dressing room she ended up on medication for depression again. She said: ‘I felt like a bit of a joke.’

She was devastated by Graham Norton’s joke at the 2016 Baftas when she said her future return as The X Factor’s host was less likely than the executed Anne Boleyn returning to BBC2 historical drama Wolf Hall. 

‘I remember the person next to me touching my arm in sympathy and just trying not to cry. It was really horrible and my lowest point,’ she said.

Winner: Caroline Flack was adored by Strictly Come Dancing fans but her depression set in soon afterwards

Winner: Caroline Flack was adored by Strictly Come Dancing fans but her depression set in soon afterwards

But in 2015 came her biggest break – being made the presenter of Love island, with a salary of £600,000 a year and lucrative spin-off deals.

Yet for a woman struggling with self-esteem issues, being surrounded by an endless rotation of bikini-clad women can not have been easy.

When Love Island bosses reportedly requested that she, too, wear a bikini on the show, she refused. 

However after the tragic suicides of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, she praised the show for taking care of participants’ mental health, saying she had discussed her own worries with them.

Though her professional life flourished as she helped the Love Island contestants look for love, Caroline’s own romantic life was fraught.

In recent years she had a rocky on-off relationship with former Apprentice star, Andrew Brady, 28, to whom she got engaged after a few weeks of dating. 

In November 2018 he called police after believing that she was on the brink of taking her own life.

After a brief fling with rugby hunk Danny Cipriani, she met tennis pro and model Lewis Burton, 27, in July last year. And so began the romance that would lead to the devastating series of events.

Soulmate: Caroline Flack with her boyfriend Lewis Burton. Friends believed they would marry

Soulmate: Caroline Flack with her boyfriend Lewis Burton. Friends believed they would marry

On the night of December 12, she and Burton had gone out for a dinner at the Soho nightspot Bob Bob Ricard. 

Whatever happened next involved jealousy and a loss of control although a friend of hers told me yesterday through tears: ‘She did nothing wrong which is why I cannot understand what has happened now.’

Friends of Flack have always maintained that it was a ‘minor argument’. But blood was spilled during the drama, and her career was damaged.

After being charged on the basis of evidence from the police, she was forced to step down from Love Island.

Having reportedly learned on Friday that she would have to stand trial next month, on Saturday, after a friend who was staying with her ‘popped out’ to the shops, she took her own life. 

Though friends confirm that Caroline had been taking medication for depression at the time of her death, they profess themselves stunned that she could reach such a low ebb.

For the signs were that she was recovering. She had given up drinking and had said she was feeling positive after a break in Los Angeles.

Indeed, she had promised friends she was looking forward to giving her side of the events of that night and clearing her name next month.

Red nose turn: Caroline Flack striking a pose during Comic Relief in 2007

Red nose turn: Caroline Flack striking a pose during Comic Relief in 2007

And she was happy at least that Lewis – who she adored – was sticking by her. Friends insist she believed they were on course to get married this year, once the court case was over. She had moved to a new house in East London, and started writing a self-help book, part memoir, part advice on getting through problems.

Yet behind the happy facade, fears over appearing in court continued to bubble away. 

One friend told me: ‘She could not get her head around the court case.’ Through tears, he added: ‘We always used to say ‘it’s fixable’. Whatever went wrong we would say: ‘Oh never mind, it’s fixable.’

Tragically, it seems that no matter how brave a face Caroline showed, after years of mental torment, this vivacious young woman no longer believed she was fixable.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123, visit a local branch or go to