Family of Caroline Flack Shares Post Written Before Star’s Suicide

By Elian Peltier

The former host of the hit reality show “Love Island” wrote the post after she was charged with assaulting her boyfriend, but was advised not to publish it.

Caroline Flack in 2018. Before her death, she was a fixture in the British tabloids.
Caroline Flack in 2018. Before her death, she was a fixture in the British tabloids.Credit...Tolga Akmen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Elian Peltier

LONDON — Weeks before taking her own life, Caroline Flack, the British television personality, wrote that she had been suffering from an emotional breakdown “for a very long time,” according to an unpublished social media post made public by her family on Wednesday.

Ms. Flack, 40, was arrested in December and later charged with assaulting her boyfriend. In the post, she wrote, “within 24 hours my whole world and future was swept from under my feet.”

Ms. Flack, who died on Saturday, was one of Britain’s most famous television faces and spent years working on a number of reality television shows. But she shot to new levels of fame as the host of “Love Island,” a hit reality dating show in which the public votes off “islanders” until one victorious couple remains.

Ms. Flack stepped down from the hosting role after her arrest late last year, as the episode with her boyfriend, the tennis player Lewis Burton, was widely scrutinized by the British media. The television celebrity had pleaded not guilty to the charges of assaulting Mr. Burton and said in the unpublished post that it had been “an accident.”

“I am NOT a domestic abuser,” Ms. Flack wrote. “We had an argument and an accident happened. An accident.”

Ms. Flack added that her “blood” had been sold to a tabloid after the events, and that it was “something very sad and very personal” — an apparent reference to a photo of her bloodstained bed published last month by The Sun.

As tributes flooded social media this week, many in Britain accused the tabloid press of causing further harm to her mental health. An online petition calling for a law in Ms. Flack’s name that would prevent the media from sharing information “detrimental to the celebrity, their mental health and those around them,” had gathered over 570,000 signatures as of Wednesday.

An investigation into Ms. Flack’s death was opened on Wednesday, and the coroner, Sarah Bourke, confirmed suicide as the cause. At the time of her death, Ms. Flack was awaiting trial, and scheduled to appear in court on March 4.

The Crown Prosecution Service had pursued the case even though Mr. Burton had said in court that he did not support the prosecution.

Ms. Flack’s family shared her post with The Eastern Daily Press, a local newspaper covering Norfolk County, in eastern England, where the star grew up.

Chris Flack, Caroline Flack’s mother, said her daughter sent her the message at the end of January and had been told by her advisers not to post it, but said that she wanted her daughter’s voice to be 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,” Chris Flack told the newspaper.

Caroline Flack began hosting “Love Island” in 2015, but for years, the tabloid newspapers have chronicled the episodes of her private life, including her romances as well as struggles with depression.

In the unpublished post, Ms. Flack said that “shame and toxic opinions” were part of her job and that she did not want to complain about them, but noted that “all the walls that I had taken so long to build around me, collapsed.”

“I’m not thinking about ‘how I’m going to get my career back,’” she wrote. “I’m thinking about how I’m going to get mine and my family’s life back.”

In interviews and on social media, Ms. Flack had called out the media intrusion and revealed that she had struggled with mental health issues.

In an Instagram post last year, she wrote that she had been “in a really weird place.”

“I certainly hate talking about my feelings,” she wrote at the time. “And being a burden is my biggest fear.”

Chris Flack said on Wednesday that her daughter had support from friends and family but that what she was facing had been “too much for her.”

“As Carrie would say,” Ms. Flack added about her daughter, “‘In a nasty world just be kind.’”

Having thoughts of suicide? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) in the United States or see for additional resources.