Former Love Island host, Caroline Flack, who had quit the show following her arrest for allegedly assaulting her 27-year-old boyfriend Lewis Burton, was found dead at her residence in east London. The 40-year-old Flack had apparently committed suicide on February 15, a day after the Valentine's Day. Flack's death was confirmed by her family through a statement. The family's lawyer said that Flack had taken her own life.
In a statement issued through their lawyer, Flack's family 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."
Flack had posted a happy throw-back on Thursday
A day before her suicide, Flack, who had 2.6 million followers on Instagram, had posted a montage of photographs in which she held a puppy. She had captioned the post with a heart emoji. Flack had disabled the comments sections on her page.
The recent post came months after her last post on Christmas, which she posted much against the advice of her well-wishers. In the post she wrote: "Been advised not to go on social media ... but I wanted to say happy Christmas to everyone who has been so incredibly kind to me this year..... this kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot to take on for one person to take on their own... I'm a human being at the end of the day and I'm not going to be silenced when I have a story to tell and a life to keep going with .... I'm taking some time out to get feeling better and learn some lessons from situations I've got myself into to.I have nothing but love to give and best wishes for everyone ❤️"
Burton had posted a romantic message for Flack on his Instagram
Flack, who was given the bail and banned from contacting Burton, a professional tennis player, as she awaited her trial scheduled in March, had pleaded not guilty to assaulting him at her London home, last December. Following her arrest, Flack was replaced by Laura Whitmore, as host of Love Island.
Burton, who tried to contact Flack on Friday, had taken to Instagram to profess his love for Flack by posting an image of the couple. He wrote Happy Valentine's Love You.
During the trial, despite the prosecutor Katie Weiss, telling the court that Burton "received a significant injury to his head after he was hit over the head by Caroline with a lamp, causing a visible cut to his head, Burton had not agreed to the charges levied against Flack.
Tributes flow in for Flack
As soon as the news of Flack's death broke, social sites were flooded with tributes to the former Love Island host. Calling her a much-loved member of the team, ITV tweeted: "Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news. Our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends."
Laura Whitmore who replaced Flack on the show tweeted: "I'm trying to find the words but I can't." Whitmore also posted her picture with Flack. Dan Walker, the BBC Breakfast presenter, tweeted: "Awful news about Caroline Flack. We really need to be better at taking care of each other. So sad."
"Caroline Flack ... Dear God. Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace. RIP. Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely?" wrote Eamonn Holmes. Apart from hosting Love Island for several seasons Flack also hosted The X Factor, I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here Now! In 2014, Flack had won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.