Caroline Flack, 40, was found dead in her apartment on Saturday

By Eric TodiscoJodi Guglielmi and Phil Boucher
February 19, 2020 08:40 AM
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Caroline Flack‘s cause of death has been confirmed.

The former Love Island host died by suicide, the Poplar Coroner’s Court confirmed on Wednesday. She was 40 years old.

“On Tuesday, 18th of February 2020, an autopsy was performed at Hackney Mortuary by Professor Michael Shiff who gave a provisional cause of death as one by suspension by ligature,” Coroner’s officer Sandra Polson tells PEOPLE.

Flack, who stepped down from the popular British series after she was charged with assault in December 2019, was found dead at her apartment on Saturday.

According to Polson, both police and paramedics attempted to revive Flack on the scene, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

“London Ambulance Service arrived on the scene and took over CPR from the police, however, their patient could not be revived,” said Polson.

Caroline Flack
Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Following her death, Flack’s family released a statement to the U.K.’s Press Association.

“We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February,” the said. “We would ask that the press both respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.”

In her last social media post, which was shared on Friday, Flack, who previously dated Harry Styles in 2011, posted a quartet of images that showed her cuddling with her dog, which she captioned with a red heart emoji.

The British TV presenter made the announcement that she was stepping down as the host of Love Island in December, shortly before the start of the upcoming season, which is currently airing in the U.K. She had fronted the hit show since it premiered in 2015.

“There have been a significant number of media reports and allegations in regards to my personal life,” she wrote on her Instagram Story. “While matters were not as have been reported, I am committed to cooperating with the appropriate authorities and I can’t comment further on these matters until the legal process is over.”

“However, Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it’s the best show on telly. In order not to detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is stand down for Series 6,” she continued. “I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town.”

Caroline Flack
Credit: Caroline Flack/ Instagram

The announcement came after she was charged with assault by beating following a reported incident involving her boyfriend Lewis Burton, a 27-year-old former professional tennis player and model.

In a court appearance that month at London’s Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, Flack pleaded not guilty, CNN reported at the time via the PA news agency.

At the court date, Flack’s lawyer Paul Morris reportedly told the judge that Burton did not support the prosecution and was a witness, “not a victim.” But the prosecutor reportedly insisted Burton “is a victim” and “sustained a significant injury to his head.”

Caroline Flack arrives at Sexy Fish restaurant with Boyfriend Lewis Burton after dining out at the Ivy Soho.
Caroline Flack and Lewis Burton
| Credit: SplashNews.com

Flack was released on bail at the time with conditions that prevented her from having contact with Burton ahead of the March 4 trial.

Flack went on to address the court appearance on her Instagram Story, writing, “Thankfully I know a lot of you will not believe all that you have heard and read following today’s court hearing…Thank you for your continued support and love…It’s going to be a relief when I am able to give my side of the story, when I’m allowed to x.”

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.