Letter from Caroline Flack describes inner turmoil as inquest opens

‘One day someone is going to lift that carpet up and all you are going to feel is shame and embarrassment’

The TV show Love Island paid tribute to Caroline Flack with a opening voice over by Iain Stirling, the show’s narrator.

 

TV presenter Caroline Flack described the inner turmoil over her arrest for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend in a previously unseen social media post shared by her family.

The 40-year-old former Love Island presenter said “her whole world and future was swept” from under her feet following the incident with boyfriend Lewis Burton in December.

An inquest into her death, which lasted four minutes at Poplar Coroner’s Court, was adjourned by assistant coroner Sarah Bourke until August 5th.

Flack was found dead at her rented home in east London on Saturday morning. Her time of death was registered at 2.36pm.

A family lawyer said she died by suicide.

Coroner’s officer Sandra Polson said police were driving through Northwold Road, Stoke Newington on Saturday when they were flagged down.

She said: “They followed informants into a residential address and found a woman on her back.”

Police attempted resuscitation, which was then continued by paramedics, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her body was identified by her sister, Jody Flack.

Emotional breakdown

It came as an unpublished Instagram post, shared posthumously by Flack’s family, revealed how the TV presenter said how she felt the “walls” she had built around her had “collapsed”.

She denied assaulting former tennis player and model Burton, saying it was an “accident”.

She had been due to go on trial next month.

She wrote: “I have always taken responsibility for what happened that night. Even on the night.

“But the truth is .... It was an accident.

“I’ve been having some sort of emotional breakdown for a very long time.

“But I am not a domestic abuser.

“We had an argument and an accident happened. An accident.”

The truth has been taken out of my hands and used as entertainment.

Flack said pictures from the alleged crime scene featured her own blood and were sold to a newspaper.

She said: “That was something very sad and very personal.

“The reason I am talking today is because my family can’t take anymore.

“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: “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 closed the post with an apology to her family and friends.

She said: “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.

“I can’t say anymore than that.”

Flack’s mother, Chris Flack, shared the message in her local paper, the Eastern Daily Press, in Norfolk where the TV personality grew up.

She said her daughter was advised not to share the post on social media, but that her family “want people to read it”.

“It was describing how she was feeling and what she had gone through - no more than that,” her mother said.

“It was not blaming anyone or pointing any fingers.”

She said Flack, whom she calls Carrie, sent it to her “at the end of January but was told not to post it by advisers”.

If we want the world to change, for less people to die in pain and shame then we should pause before we next vent a pleasurable stab of vindictive judgment or jeering condemnation.

The TV star pleaded not guilty to assault by beating at the magistrates court hearing in December, when it was heard her partner did not support the prosecution.

She was released on bail but was ordered to stop her having any contact with Burton ahead of the trial.

The ITV2 dating show did not air on Saturday or Sunday as a mark of respect to her family and returned on Monday with a tribute to the TV star, who started hosting the programme in 2015.

Meanwhile, Russell Brand wrote a lengthy blog post on his website saying he was “angry and sad that Caroline Flack found herself in that place”.

“I am angry because I have watched this play out before with vulnerable people in the public eye and I would like to slay with some righteous sword the salacious, foaming, incessant poking, trolling judgment that chased her to the grave.”

He also addressed the role of the press and social media in the tragedy: “There is little to be gained from allocating blame now that Caroline is dead. Her vulnerability was obvious when the CPS pursued her case and when she took another turn in the barrel with the media and social media. I’ve seen that there are petitions to regulate the press and I admire the optimism of the enterprise.

“But the media is made up of people, the world of celebrity is made up of people, social media is made up of people. All culture, all values pass through the consciousness of individuals and collectives. If we want the world to change, for less people to die in pain and shame then we should pause before we next vent a pleasurable stab of vindictive judgment or jeering condemnation.” -PA

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