Caroline Flack died by suicide because "she knew she would face the media, press, publicity — it would all come down upon her," a coroner in London ruled Thursday

By Phil Boucher
August 06, 2020 04:42 PM
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Late Love Island host Caroline Flack killed herself because she knew she would be prosecuted for assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton and was terrified of the publicity the court case would bring, a coroner in London ruled Thursday.

"Although (Flack's) general fluctuating (mental) state was a background and important in her death, I find the reason for her taking her life was she now knew she was being prosecuted for certainty, and she knew she would face the media, press, publicity — it would all come down upon her," coroner Mary Hassell said at the close of a two-day inquest at Poplar Coroner's Court, according to Sky News. "To me, that's it in essence."

Flack was charged with assaulting Burton in December 2019; she took her life at her apartment in Stoke Newington, London, two months later, on Feb. 15, 2020. She was 40 years old.

Caroline Flack
Mike Marsland/WireImage

Drawing a link between the media coverage of the assault case and the TV personality's declining mental health, Hassell added that seeing her private life "played out in the national press" was “incredibly difficult" for Flack.

Not least because after stepping down from hosting the hit reality show, Flack faced the “prospect of not working in the job she loved, losing a great deal”, added Hassell, The Independent reports.

“In spite of the fact she may have led — to some — a charmed life, actually the more famous she got, the more some of these difficulties increased — she had to deal with the media in a way most of us don’t," Hassell said.

Lewis Burton and Caroline Flack
Lewis Burton/Instagram

Flack’s mother, Chris Flack, viewed the inquest remotely from her home in Norfolk, England, and told Hassell she “totally” agreed with the court's decision.

"I think you got it spot on," she said, according to The Independent. “We know you are not allowed to say certain things and it’s up to us if we want to take it any further, and we don’t.”

During Wednesday's proceedings, Chris Flack and Caroline's twin sister Jodie also stated their belief that the TV star was treated differently — and unfairly — by the Crown Prosecution Service, which handles all criminal trials in England, because of her high-profile job.

Caroline Flack with Love Island co-host Iain Stirling
Joe Maher/FilmMagic

"I believe Caroline was seriously let down by the authorities, and in particular the CPS," her mom tearfully told the court on Wednesday, according to the Eastern Daily Press.

"I believe this was a show trial. I feel the prosecutor was unkind to Caroline and my family," she continued. "Being well-known should not allow special treatment, but should not allow making an example of someone."

On Tuesday, the court heard that when Flack's body was found, a note was discovered nearby saying she wanted to "find harmony" with Burton.

"Caroline seemed very sad the day before her death — she seemed to have lost her fight," Burton said in a written statement about Flack, the Eastern Daily Press reports.

She was "very upset, in fact, devastated," he added.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.