Note: This post has been moved from Latest Picks due to length of extended updates.
Having stepped down as Love Island presenter after being charged with assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton in a bloody “lovers tiff” to which police were called (Blog, updated 14th Dec. 2019) and having spent Christmas in Los Angeles “in an attempt to escape the press frenzy” before returning to London with weeks before her trial with it reported in tabloids that she “gives up booze” with sources telling “is in much better shape both physically and mentally” (mirror.co.uk, Jan. 2020) and that Love Island want’s her back for the next series.
Her family said in a statement last night: “We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today. We would ask that the press both respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.”
With tributes pouring in from friends and former colleagues but the tragic news also renewing calls for Love Island to be cancelled (metro.co.uk) with the viewer-judgmental, fly on the wall series be blamed by some to have contributed to two contestants on having taken their own life.
Ms Flack previously opened up about her struggles with mental health.
She wrote on her Instagram account in October last year: “The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place… I find it hard to talk about it .. I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life … and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.
“I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear…. I’m lucky to be able to pick myself up when things feel shit. But what happens if someone can’t . Be nice to people. You never know what’s going on. Ever.”
With her “Be nice to people”, the #BeKind hashtag and Phillip Schofield’s “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” trending tribute trending.
.:: Update ::.
And aware of the likely significance of the previous day and the ban on contact with Lewis Burton:
After being charged with assault in December, Flack had been banned from having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial, which was due to take place in March.
However, the 27-year-old posted a photograph of the two of them together with a “Happy Valentine’s” message on Instagram on Friday, saying: “I love you.”
And leading the Current Bun to having to pull an article:
The now-deleted piece reported that a card was on sale which referenced allegations that she hit her boyfriend Lewis Burton over the head with a lamp in a fight.
The article—which had the headline “Brutal Caroline Flack Valentine’s Day card mocks troubled star with ‘I’ll f*** lamp you’ message”—is now unavailable online following her death, The Guardian reported.
But with the the Indy happy to provide a link to it on the Internet Archive WayBack Machine, the time traveling, web scraping, potentially copyright infringing, must-use tool for journos seemingly not only used to hold politicians accountable for that they wished to digitally disappear but each other for their faux pas too.
And although Instagramming Valentine’s Day snaps sans caption of herself with her dog Ruby looking happy and healthy, a devastated “pal”—presumably a different one from the “source” that had told the Mirror she was in “much better shape both physically and mentally”—said she was anything but, with those photos dadly presumably just for the purpose of keeping up appearances:
A pal said the ‘humiliated’ Love Island star she ‘couldn’t see a way out’ as she spent Valentine’s Day apart from the boyfriend she was accused of attacking.
With it reported that she had killed herself when a friend staying with her—perhaps said “pal”, perhaps not— “popped to the shops” (dailymail.co.uk), with another friend revealing she had been on anti-depressants but was going deeper into her depression while terrified of her impending court date, with friends—and ex Culture Club frontman Boy George—furious that the CPS pursued the prosecution despite Burton making it clear he did not want the case to go to trial as there had been no serious injury.
Updated 16th February 2020
“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.”
But with a former Chief Crown Prosecutor saying on LBC that the concept of prosecutions where the victim or complainant doesn’t want to pursue it in cases of domestic violence is “actually very common” and that rather than show trial “it’s not because it’s Caroline Flack, it would happen dozens of times every week” which some may say is understandable considering the pressures and conflicted emotions of which we should now be aware can make victims stay silent or recant accusations.
And it was revealed that it was her father Ian who found her unresponsive body just hours after she found out she would face trial next month and that an ambulance crew went to Caroline’s northeast London flat the day before (dailymail.co.uk) over “concerns for her welfare” but decided against taking her to hospital after checking her over.
‘My heart is broken-we had something so special’: Caroline Flack’s boyfriend reveals his grief in emotional early morning Instagram post after his Love Island star girlfriend, 40, killed herself in her London flat (dailymail.co.uk).
Mr Burton’s post read today: ‘My heart is broken, we had something so special. I am so lost for words I am in so much pain I miss you so much I know you felt safe with me you always said I don’t think about anything else when I am with you and I was not allowed to be there this time I kept asking and asking.
‘I will be your voice baby I promise I will ask all the questions you wanted and I will get all the answers nothing will bring you back but I will try make you proud everyday. I love you with all my heart.’
And with paps using the long lens to to capture her former The Apprentice #abusehasnogender hashtag-slinging ex Andrew Brady looking downcast as he reads his phone in Sydney, Australia (dailymail.co.uk) and following her rugby-playing, ex Danny Cipriani—who dated her for “just eight weeks last year” and had found himself on the wrong side of the law too for common assault police after a altercation—as he revealed “he’s “never cried this much” and showed “it’s ok to be vulnerable” (mirror.co.uk) after getting into a spat with the sort of trolling arsehat for which toxic Twitter is the preferred social bridge to lurk under that had accused him of using Flack’s death to get attention.
And after Saturday and Sunday night’s Love Island episodes were pulled, ITV is deciding how to respond to not only her death but to #CancelLoveIsland trending on Twitter with regards her being the third person involved with the show to kill them self:
Love Island bosses ‘hold crisis talks to discuss whether to continue show or axe it FOREVER’ after Caroline Flack’s death… as it emerges contestants have NOT been told about her suicide (dailymail.co.uk).
Financial Times’ Mark Di Stefano took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to report that bosses at ITV were locked in meetings to discuss how best to respond to the TV personality’s tragic death.
But also it seems inevitably just hyping the show all the more:
He wrote: ‘ITV execs and programme makers are meeting now to discuss how to respond to Caroline Flack’s death. Told to expect more information this afternoon on tonight’s episode of Love Island and the long-term.’
Updated 17th February 2020
With those ITV bosses’ crisis meeting determining tonight’s Love Island will carry a tribute to her from the team, and a campaign dubbed “Caroline’s Law” launched demanding stricter laws to protect celebs in the public eye already gaining over 25,000 signatures (hulldailymail.co.uk) pointing the finger at tabloids for the tragedy, it perhaps has to be asked though if they should take all the blame when indeed when reality contest shows and tabloid gossip have an essential symbiotic relationship both for good and bad:
Their role seemingly being to have fueled social media vindictiveness.
We can condemn the tabloids for their part in tearing people down, but the judgement and bullying which drives a huge portion of social media has begun to have an equally disturbing effect. That combined rush to judge and have the most popular opinion about a stranger is now hounding vulnerable people into dark places.
With as noted above, short term ex Danny Cipriani getting into a spat on Twitter and having to voice it’s “ok to be vulnerable” and withe even arguably Blighty’s Brexit reality TV PM BoJo getting involved stating social media companies need to “go further” in controlling trolls (entertainmentdaily.co.uk) with the government recent decision to put Ofcom in charge of regulating them in responce to the Online Harms consultation (Blog updated 12th Feb. 2020).
But indeed realty TV shows are somewhat reliant on that public judgement that inevitably turns into bullying vitriol when all are given the oppo to express daily their invariably depreciating opinion on social media.
Updated 19th February 2020
And with those fallen on reality and caustic columnist hard times using social media to pile on with their own shamelessly equally disturbing effect, with now mucky mansionless and bankrupt Katie Price revealing that she’s “taking a break” from “horrible” social media, albeit after using her Instagram Stories to share that she was due to meet up with tragic Caroline who had asked for her support (dailystar.co.uk), and with dept-crippled, forced to sell £1m house Katie Hopkins blasted for “hateful” Caroline Flack tweet asking will #CarolinesLaw just be for people you agree with (dailystar.co.uk) and not for a toxic media personality who’s gushes of migrant-bashing vitriol were seemingly actually caused by insertion of a series of ever larger far-right sponsored vegetables into her pee hole.
Next page: An unpublished Instagram post is released by family, the the organisation that represents the editors of the UK’s top newspapers say it is wrong to blame the media, police refer them self to watchdog over their handling but no casual link found, CPS review defends its decision to charge and inquest determines that she took her own life with her trauma played out in the national press.