Rugby star Danny Cipriani has revealed he once tried to buy a gun to kill himself in a video posted on Instagram following ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack’s death.
Cipriani, 32, opened up about his past mental-health struggles in a heartbreaking 18-minute video posted on his Instagram account to his 211,000 followers.
The former England player said that he had been talking with Ms Flack, who killed herself over the weekend, for the past three to four months.
He said that the ex-Love Island host tried to contact Cipriani last Friday night, just hours before she tragically took her own life.
Cipriani said he felt ‘safe’ sharing everything with Ms Flack, and claimed ‘it was ultimately embarrassment and shame that killed her’.
Cipriani was unable to take the call or respond to her message because he was playing for Gloucester against Exeter in the Gallagher Premiership.
In the video, the former England superstar revealed that he went through ‘severe depression’ aged 22, and contemplated committing suicide. He spoke of causing himself ‘pain’ with ‘meaningless sex or painkillers or drinking alcohol’.
Cipriani said: ‘Someone that I loved as a person very dearly and someone I’m very close to has decided to take her own life, as everyone knows.
‘I’ve been speaking to her for the last three, four months. We’ve always been in contact since we were together, since we weren’t.
‘It’s always been a loving friendship.
‘I was so vulnerable with her in my moment, when we first met, and I told her everything about me because I felt safe with her.
Danny Cipriani (pictured) opens up about his own struggles in a heartbreaking 18-minute video posted on his Instagram account to his 211,000 followers
Cipriani started dating Caroline Flack (pictured in the car) after the former Love Island presenter’s engagement to Apprentice star Andrew Brady ended last year
Danny Cipriani’s struggle: How the star’s off-field issues saw him end up on the wrong side of the law
Danny Cipriani revealed on Instagram how he battled ‘severe depression’ when he was 22. He claimed to have caused himself ‘pain’ through ‘meaningless sex or painkillers or drinking alcohol’. His off-field issues put him on the wrong side of his clubs, and eventually of the law:
March 6, 2008: Cipriani, then a rising star of rugby union, was dropped from the England squad ahead of a game with Scotland due to ‘inappropriate behaviour’. He was pictured heading into a nightclub, though it was said that he was not drinking.
February 19, 2011: Playing for Melbourne Rebels, he was fined by the club when he helped himself to a bottle of alcohol at a Prahran nightclub follows a heavy loss by the Rebels. He later served a one-match ban for breaking his team curfew.
June 1, 2015: Cipriani smashes his Mercedes into a taxi down Imperial Road, Fulham, after a night out.
June 24, 2016: He is found guilty of drinking and driving from the June 1, 2015 incident, after court heard his eyes were ‘glazed’. Cipriani was said to be nearly twice the drink-drive limit, and was ordered to pay £7,620 and banned from driving for 18 months.
August 15, 2018: Cipriani was arrested and charged for common assault, larceny, assault on police, resisting arrest, and being disorderly on licensed premises in Jersey. It was reported at the time that Cipriani got into an altercation with a bouncer outside The Little Drift nightclub.
August 16, 2018: He pleaded guilty to common assault and resisting arrest from the August 15, 2018 incident, and was ordered to pay £250 compensation to a police officer. The other charges were dropped.
‘I told her all the things I was embarrassed and shameful about. And she made me feel OK.
‘And ultimately it was embarrassment and shame that killed her.
‘So I’m telling everyone now what my most embarrassing and shameful moments are, because I know she knew I had the strength to do this.’
An emotional Cipriani said: ‘When I was 22, I was going through severe depression. I was seeing a psychiatrist.
‘I met a guy who was at a nightclub, he ended up being around.
‘I knew he was a bad man, was in the scene, trying to make his way in whatever he was doing. I decided at this point it was time for me to take my own life and I tried to buy a gun from him.
‘And I pulled out. Then I tried to buy it again, but I pulled out.
‘This went on for two months. I couldn’t do it. Because I had some fight in me.
‘That was something that I went through and I’ve had to carry that.’
It is believed the former Wasps player had joined the Melbourne Rebels when he considered buying a gun.
Cipriani was in a public and high-profile relationship with model Kelly Brook between 2008 and 2010.
He then dated actress Lindsay Lohan in 2010, and Katie Price in 2011.
In 2015, the rugby union back told The Sun how he had suffered with depression for nine months after splitting up with Ms Brook, and had sought professional help.
Cipriani started dating Ms Flack after the former Love Island presenter’s engagement to Apprentice star Andrew Brady ended last year.
Reports from May told how the pair had decided to remain friends after their romance ended, before Ms Flack started dating Lewis Burton.
Cipriani said of his ex-girlfriend: ‘She knew everything about me.
‘The reason I’m saying this is because embarrassment and shame is not something that should make you do this.
‘It’s how we treat people and look after everyone, cause everyone has embarrassment and shame to some sort of degree.
‘Whatever it is, we be kind, we try to be gentle.’
The former England player (pictured from March 2018) said that he had been talking with Ms Flack, who killed herself over the weekend, for the past three to four months
Cipriani called Ms Flack (pictured leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court last December) as ‘so kind and so beautiful’ and ‘never malicious’
Miss Flack killed herself at home (pictured) in Stoke Newington, East London
Cipriani said that Ms Flack, who he described as ‘so kind and so beautiful’ and ‘never malicious’ contacted him last Friday night before she killed herself.
He claimed: ‘I have to see the meaning she decided to call me in her last moments, which was with her two best friends. How much love and trust did she have for me, because we had been vulnerable and shared together?
‘She felt it was a safe space, so I thank her for that, cause I felt safe with her.
‘She texted me on Friday and said that she had to plead guilty – and I had a game.’
He finished the post by revealing that he intended to publish a voice note she left him 15 days ago, saying: ‘I have to release this for me.
‘This is for me, this is for her. I miss her.
‘I have written her messages she is not going to read because her phone is not on. Well, it is but she is not here. But I have had to voice things to her.’
‘You can make jokes. I don’t care because it is not going to affect me. She has given me that. Because she has given me that, I am sharing it with you.’
Ms Flack was found dead in her flat in northeast London last Saturday, aged 40.
An inquest this week heard how the radio and TV presenter, who won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 and hosted The X Factor in 2015, hanged herself.
Mollie Grosberg, a TV producer, posted this picture of Ms Flack in an Instagram story. It is thought to be the last picture of the former Love Island host, taken on Valentine’s Day
The FINAL Instagram message that Caroline Flack wrote and was advised NOT to post online
Ms Flack’s mother shared the message in her local paper, the Eastern Daily Press (pictured), in Norfolk where she grew up
For a lot of people, being arrested for common assault is an extreme way to have some sort of spiritual awakening but for me it’s become the normal.
I’ve been pressing the snooze button on many stresses in my life – for my whole life. I’ve accepted shame and toxic opinions on my life for over 10 years and yet told myself it’s all part of my job. No complaining.
The problem with brushing things under the carpet is …. they are still there and one day someone is going to lift that carpet up and all you are going to feel is shame and embarrassment.
On December the 12th 2019 I was arrested for common assault on my boyfriend… Within 24 hours my whole world and future was swept from under my feet and all the walls that I had taken so long to build around me, collapsed. I am suddenly on a different kind of stage and everyone is watching it happen.
I have always taken responsibility for what happened that night. Even on the night. But the truth is… It was an accident.
I’ve been having some sort of emotional breakdown for a very long time.
But I am NOT a domestic abuser. We had an argument and an accident happened. An accident. The blood that someone SOLD to a newspaper was MY blood and that was something very sad and very personal.
The reason I am talking today is because my family can’t take anymore. I’ve lost my job. My home. My ability to speak.
And the truth has been taken out of my hands and used as entertainment.
I can’t spend every day hidden away being told not to say or speak to anyone.
I’m so sorry to my family for what I have brought upon them and for what my friends have had to go through.
I’m not thinking about ‘how I’m going to get my career back.’ I’m thinking about how I’m going to get mine and my family’s life back.
Her body was discovered by father Ian, and she was identified by sister Jody.
She had been charged with common assault by the Crown Prosecution Service following an altercation with her boyfriend Mr Burton, 27, last December.
Although former tennis professional Mr Burton did not want the prosecution to proceeds, the CPS doubled-down earlier this month.
Ms Flack’s team have blasted the CPS, accusing it of deliberately pursuing her to a ‘show trial’ despite knowing she was of a fragile state of mind.
Francis Ridley, of management company Money Talent Management, said following her passing: ‘The Crown Prosecution Service pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution and had disputed the CPS version of events.
‘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. Our thoughts are with Caroline’s family at this time.
‘In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported.’
- To contact the Samaritans, call 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org