Caroline Flack wrote an unpublished Instagram post weeks before she killed herself revealing how her “whole world and future was swept from under [her] feet” over claims she assaulted her boyfriend, her family has said.
The former Love Island presenter, who was found dead aged 40 on Saturday before she was due to stand trial in March accused of assault, said the domestic incident was an accident.
In the message, which Flack’s family has released after the star’s advisers warned her against posting it, she said she “took responsibility for what happened that night” but insisted she “was NOT a domestic abuser”.
The star – who ended her Love Island presenting role while she faced trial – also opened up about her inner demons and the pressure of being in the public spotlight, adding that “truth has been taken out of my hands and used as entertainment”.
The release of the post came as an inquest into Flack’s death opened on Wednesday, with tributes pouring in for the presenter and the Crown Prosecution Service facing criticism for its decision to charge her.
The inquest at Poplar coroner’s court in east London heard that the former Love Island presenter’s body was identified by her sister, Jody Flack. Coroner Sarah Bourke adjourned the hearing until 5 August.
Flack was due to stand trial next month after pleading not guilty to assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, with a lamp at her London flat. At a pre-trial hearing in December, the court was told that 27-year-old Burton sustained a “significant injury to his head” and had dialled 999.
In the post, handed by Flack’s family to the Eastern Daily Press, which covers Norfolk where the presenter grew up, she wrote of her arrest on 12 December: “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.”
Flack said she had been having “some sort of emotional breakdown for a very long time”, adding: “But I am NOT a domestic abuser. We had an argument and an accident happened. An accident.”
Images published in the Sun showing Flack’s flat covered in blood after the incident were of her own blood, she said, and were sold to the newspaper although she did not name who was responsible for leaking them.
“That was something very sad and very personal,” she wrote. The reason I am talking today is because my family can’t take any more. 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.”
She added: “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.”
Flack also apologised for the impact on those close to her, writing: “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.”
Flack’s mother, Chris, who revealed she was due to see her daughter on the day she was found dead, told the Eastern Daily Press: “Carrie sent me this message at the end of January but was told not to post it by advisers but she so wanted to have her little voice heard.
“So many untruths were out there but this is how she felt and my family and I would like people to read her own words. Carrie was surrounded by love and friends but this was just too much for her.
In reference to the post, she explained: “It was describing how she was feeling and what she had gone through – no more than that. It was not blaming anyone or pointing any fingers.”
She added: “Jody, her twin sister, was there her whole life for her but this time nothing could take away the hurt of such injustice. As Carrie would say: ‘In a nasty world just be kind.’”