Love Island Host Caroline Flack Wanted to 'Find Harmony' with Boyfriend Ahead of Her Death
An inquest into the death of the late TV personality opened in London on Wednesday
The TV star — who was found dead in her apartment in Stoke Newington, London, on Feb. 15 — was also "not in a good place emotionally" and suffered from "a sense of impending doom," Poplar Coroner's Court heard on the first day of the official proceedings, according to the BBC. Flack was 40, and her death has been ruled a suicide.
"Caroline seemed very sad the day before her death — she seemed to have lost her fight," Burton said in a written statement about Flack, who stepped down from presenting the popular British reality show after she was charged with assaulting him in December 2019.
She was "very upset, in fact, devastated," he added, the Eastern Daily Press reports.
Throughout the hearing, friends and family painted a picture of Flack falling apart in the aftermath of the highly publicized incident. Her mother Christine Flack directed much of the blame towards the Crown Prosecution Service, which handles all criminal trials in England, for pursuing a trial even after Burton dropped all charges.
"I believe Caroline was seriously let down by the authorities, and in particular the CPS," her mom tearfully told the court via video chat from Flack's family home in Norfolk, 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."
Burton said Flack sometimes "talked about taking her own life when she was extremely upset."
"The media were constantly bashing her character, writing hurtful stories," he said. "What was worrying her most was the police case and losing her presenting job on Love Island, plus not being able to see me."
According to the Eastern Daily Press, psychiatrist Tamsin Lewis told the court Flack "said she had been drinking excessively to numb herself" and "reported having panicky feelings all day."
The post-mortem examination found that no alcohol was present in Flack's body at the time of her death. She had a slightly raised level of the insomnia drug zopiclone in her system, plus the recommended therapeutic levels of diazepam.
"Caroline seemed very sad the day before her death — she seemed to have lost her fight," Flack's twin sister, Jody, said during the hearing on Wednesday, according to reports.
Jody said she became alarmed when she couldn't contact her sister on the night of her death, and called friend Louise Teasdale to help. Louise and her dad Stephen rushed to Flack's apartment.
According to the Evening Standard, after retrieving a spare key from the landlady, Stephen managed to enter the home and found Flack unconscious.
"Heartbreak is something Caroline found extremely difficult. She attempted to take her own life the night before she appeared in court. I believe the shame ... was too much to deal with," Jody reportedly told the court. "Her life and reputation she worked hard to build was falling apart. ... It was our belief it would not be happening to her if she wasn't in the public eye."
Flack's mother added, "She lost the job she worked so hard at. I was with her the weekend before her death, in her new flat. When I said goodbye to her that day I never thought it would be for the last time."
The inquest continues Thursday.
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.