Love Island star Caroline Flack said she would kill herself, court heard

17 February 2020, 19:08 | Updated: 17 February 2020, 19:16

The former Love Island presenter was found dead in her home on Saturday, the day after paramedics attended her flat
The former Love Island presenter was found dead in her home on Saturday, the day after paramedics attended her flat. Picture: PA

The former Love Island host Caroline Flack had told the police that she would kill herself after she was arrested for attacking her boyfriend.

The 40-year-old TV presenter was found dead in her east London home on Saturday, after taking her own life.

The star had been embroiled in a court case and had pleaded not guilty to assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton at her former flat in north London in a magistrates court hearing in December.

Read more: Love Island to return on Monday with a special tribute to Caroline Flack

The court was also told that when Flack was being questioned by the police “she said, ‘I did it’ and said under caution that she will kill herself”.

During her first appearance just before Christmas, Mr Burton informed prosecution lawyers he did not support the case and did not consider himself a victim.

The Crown Prosecution Service continued to pursue the case and imposed strict bail conditions forbidding her from contacting her boyfriend were imposed.

Read more: Caroline Flack found dead aged 40 at east London flat

Caroline Flack's boyfriend Lewis Burton
Caroline Flack's boyfriend Lewis Burton. Picture: PA

The Met Police did not immediately comment, although it is likely further details could emerge at any inquest into her death.

The ITV star was found dead just a day after ambulance crews were called to her Clapton home on Friday night.

A London Ambulance Service statement said: "We were called shortly after 10.30pm on 14 February to a residential property on Northwold Road, N16.

"Crews attended and, following a clinical assessment, the person was not taken to hospital. Due to patient confidentiality we cannot comment further."

The LAS also said crews were called to Northwold Road at 2.30pm on Saturday, adding that "a person was pronounced dead at the scene", but would not comment on whether the two incidents were linked.

Read more: Caroline Flack’s heartbroken boyfriend Lewis Burton pays tribute after her death

Tributes were left outside her north east London home
Tributes were left outside her north east London home. Picture: PA

Flack stepped down from presenting the current winter series of Love Island after the alleged assault.

The ITV programme did not air on Sunday night, but will be back on Monday with a tribute to Flack.

An ITV spokeswoman said: "Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection.

"All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.

"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 have decided not to broadcast tonight's Love Island out of respect for Caroline's family.

"Love Island will return tomorrow night which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts.

The shock news prompted a flood of tributes from celebrities. But it also brought questions about the decision to persist with prosecuting Flack for the alleged assault on her boyfriend, and about the pressures faced by TV celebrities from the press and social media.

Her management company criticised the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for pressing ahead with what it called her "show trial" even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

By Sunday evening, an online petition calling for a Government inquiry into "the practices and policies of mainstream media organisations and social media platforms in their efforts to protect members of the public from harm" had more than 200,000 signatures.

The tragedy has put the spotlight back on the pressures which come with TV celebrity.

Flack is the fourth person linked to the ITV2 dating programme to have killed themselves.

Sophie Gradon, who was a contestant in 2016, was found dead at her home in 2018 at the age of 32.

Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who had found her body, killed himself three weeks later. He was 25.

Mike Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was 26 when he was found dead in a park in March last year.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK.

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