Steve Allen 4am - 7am
Caroline Flack's rep slams 'show trial' of 'vulnerable' star after assault charge
15 February 2020, 21:53
Caroline Flack's management have condemned prosecutors for proceeding with an assault charge against her boyfriend, despite his lack of support for the case.
Describing the upcoming court case as a "show trial", Francis Ridley, of Money Talent Management paid tribute to Ms Flack, who took her own life on Saturday at the age of 40.
Mr Ridley said he and his team were "devastated" at the loss of their "client and friend".
Paying tribute, he added she was "an immensely talented young woman who was at the top of her game professionally and loved by television viewers across the country".
But much of the statement went on to criticise how the CPS had handled the case.
It said: "In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported.
"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."
She had been charged with the assault of her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, 27, in December and had been due to stand trial on 4 March after allegedly hitting him over the head with a lamp.
After entering a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, Flack was released on bail with conditions that stop her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial.
She and Mr Burton are understood to have still been in a relationship at the time of her death, and he yesterday posted a picture of the pair to his Instagram, captioned "I love you."
He has not commented publicly on the news of her death.
Her family confirmed earlier confirmed her death and said: "We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today, the 15th of February.
"We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time and we would ask they make no attempt to contact us and/or photograph us."
An ITV spokesperson said: "Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.
"Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends."
A family lawyer confirmed Ms Flack took her own life the day after Valentine's Day.
Yesterday afternoon, Ms Flack took to social media to upload a picture of her posing with a dog, which she posted with a heart emoji.
Ms Flack's TV presenting roles have included Gladiators, I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! NOW!, The X Factor and The Xtra Factor.
She had also been an actress in the early part of her career, starring as Bubbles on Bo Selecta before becoming a TV presenter.
She was best known for presenting popular ITV show Love Island, but stepped down at the end of 2019 following the charge.
Laura Whitmore, who took over hosting duties, said she "couldn't find the words" after finding out the news of the tragedy.
Ms Flack also competed on the 2014 series of Strictly Come Dancing, and was crowned the winner with partner Pasha Kovalev.