British TV presenter Caroline Flack passed away by suicide at the age of 40

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On Saturday, Caroline Flack was found dead in her London apartment. It appears as if she died by suicide. Since I’m American, I’ll admit that was never super-familiar with Flack as a celebrity – I was mostly aware of her as one of those “famous in Britain” personalities. She was, by all accounts, a very popular and well-liked person within the British entertainment community, and she hosted many of Britain’s most popular reality shows, like Love Island and The X Factor. She was 40 years old. Her family released this statement: “We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today, 15 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.”

The first time I became aware of Flack was several years back, when she had a fling with Harry Styles, who was quite young at the time. Flack seemed to have a thing for younger boyfriends, which also added to the interest in her personal life from the British tabloids. Her most recent boyfriend was Lewis Burton, who is 27 years old. In December, Flack and Burton had a fight in their home and she apparently hit him with a lamp. He did not press charges, but Flack was still arrested and charged with assault, and she and Lewis were ordered to have no contact with one another. For the past two months, the British tabloid media has been featuring a ton of negative stories about Flack and the assault. As we’ve seen before with other high-profile women, the British tabloids get into a feeding frenzy when they smell any kind of blood in the water, and that’s what was happening to Flack. Negative headline after negative headline, even though Lewis Burton – again – did not press charges against her. Flack’s manager also released a statement criticizing the way the case had been handled:

In a statement released on Saturday night, Francis Ridley of Money Talent Management, Flack’s management company, said: “In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported. The Crown Prosecution Service pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution and had disputed the CPS version of events. The CPS should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest. And ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline.”

[From The Guardian]

So, that’s a huge issue. I understand that there’s a more nuanced conversation to have about domestic violence and criminal charges and how abusers can persuade their victims to drop charges. But is that what happened here? And whatever did happen got the full rabid-tabloid press treatment. As many have pointed out, the worst tabloids (The Sun, the Daily Mail) are deleting some of their most negative stories or changing their archived stories and headlines now that Flack has passed away. It’s all just awful. I feel so sorry for her family and those people who loved her.

Here are two tributes for Flack from one of her closest friends and her boyfriend.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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82 Responses to “British TV presenter Caroline Flack passed away by suicide at the age of 40”

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  1. Belli says:

    The tabloid culture in Britain is absolutely disgusting. They leave a trail of lives in their wake.

  2. Lara says:

    This is the saddest story and really got me. I lost my best friend to suicide in the summer and I’m not doing great.

    I also think the daily mail are really showing themselves with this story. Constantly reporting on the friend who left her that day to go the shops and taking photos of an ex boyfriend looking sad. Disgraceful

  3. Roserose says:

    This is so upsetting. It genuinely seems like she looked herself, in part, because of the way the tabloid media was portraying her.

    Part of me hopes this awful death will bring about tighter regulation of the British tabloid media but another part of me knows that it won’t.

    Thank goodness Harry and Meghan got out.

    • Ninks says:

      Boris Johnson is completely in bed with the major press organisations. He needs their support to push his agenda and to support him. There’s no way there will be any legislation to tighten controls on the British press while he’s in power.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    This is all so sad and I hope that her death serves as the catalyst for something to be done about the out of control and nasty British media. Let’s not let her death be in vain and I do think there is now a thirst with the people to see that change. People in my office are talking about this and they are all saying something needs to be done about the gutter and successful women hating press in this country.

    From what I understand of the incident what is/was being reported in the press is not really what happened – her BF has repeatedly stated this, however it’s alleged she also had a physical altercation with the guy before the current BF so who knows. She was a troubled person who had MH issues whom both the press and social media trolls took pleasure in attacking and its sickening that these same people are now jumping on the condolences bandwagon – they helped drive her to do what she did.

    Words and actions DO matter!!!

    • LULU wang was robbed says:

      I’m sorry to say it, but it absolutely is what happened.
      Victims of domestic abuse protect their abusers all the time, the police who attended the scene had body cameras on where she both admits to, and mimes hitting her boyfriend over the head with a lamp whilst he was sleeping.

      It’s a very sad situation, and I’d like to stress that by acknowledging Caroline did awful things, that doesn’t make her passing any less devastating for her friends or family or those who admired her.
      I saw a really good comment on twitter about how we shouldn’t feel the need to simplify an unsimple situation by reducing it to a binary good/bad.
      Caroline was a troubled, talented woman who also did an appalling thing and she will be missed.

      • Ronaldinhio says:

        I hate the way the media are trying to blame the Crown Prosecution Service for simply carrying out their job.
        There was body worn camera evidence of Ms Flack’s behaviour which coupled with an emergency call (911 equivalent) from her boyfriend and testimony at the scene meant that they were able to proceed with the case.

        It is desperately sad that she wasn’t able to access help for her behaviour prior to this incident – from allusions from prior partners it wasn’t the first time.
        Also there are few services available to women who are abusive. Although her earnings would have provided an ability to access private and confidential care had she admitted she needed it.

        I work with people who face the trauma of domestic abuse. It is normal that they withdraw their statements for many different reasons. Love and undying love is often part of their commentary even when there has been violent and repeated abuse ( which I cannot speak to in this case )

        The media were awful but also Ms Flack did not seem to believe this would be progressed to trial. I believe she will have known her career would be over once the evidence against her was displayed in open court.
        I think her vulnerability to suicide was poorly assessed as a medical team were called to her address on the day before her death and she was not admitted into services.
        It’s terrible that she felt that was her only option.
        I cannot bear how the media are pretending they had no role to play.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I haven’t followed the story so I don’t really know what happened – over the past few days there has been stories about how it wasn’t what it appeared to be but I guess this is just the press glossing over it because of what happened. I apologise for my ignorance.

        I never really followed her or her career so I don’t know much about her. Alcohol and mental health issues are a dangerous combination.

      • LULU wang was robbed says:

        I think you summed that up perfectly Ronaldinhio.
        I think the CPS are doing exactly what their job asks of them, they had clear evidence to proceed with prosecution, were they just supposed to ignore it?
        I think she was failed by the medics that attended her initially the day before like you said, but personal vulnerability shouldn’t be a protective barrier to prosecution.
        It’s very sad she couldn’t get help and didn’t have the opportunity to improve and make amends to her victim.

      • Annie says:

        Agreed. There are photos of Flack’s bedroom after the altercation, and the bed is full of blood. Hitting someone over their head with a blunt object can cause life-threatening injuries. Imagine if a male celebrity was guilty of hitting his sleeping girlfriend in a jealous rage to the point where blood was gushing out – we would not be so forgiving.

        Obviously Flack’s suicide is a tragedy, but we can’t stop prosecuting people for domestic violence. Even if the victim doesn’t want to press charges, the police and prosecution service have a responsibility to 1) protect the victim anyway and 2) protect potential future victims.

      • PrincessK says:

        @Annie….yes, but the pictures of the bedroom splattered with blood were taken by the police, so how did the Sun get hold of them and print them?

      • Rosa says:

        @ lulu wang I appreciate your comment, especially the last two paragraphs.

        She was accused of assault, hitting her sleeping boyfriend over the head with a lamp, her boyfriend called the police as a result of that. It’s being said now that by the time the police arrived she also had some self inflicted wounds which required treatment. Clearly a very troubling situation and her injuries must have been serious and it’s obvious she was going through some serious issues. That does not negate the fact that she assaulted someone! And the fact that he called the police not an ambulance indicates to me at least that he was reporting an assault at the time of the call, not calling because of her injuries.
        This was serious and needed to be investigated. But yes, afterwards there was a total pile on from trashy tabs and social media
        Including an ex who he said had experienced something similar. Should this pile on have happened, stories reported for the sake of sensationalism, jokes, ppl chipping in despite not knowing full stories … ? I don’t think so but its definitely a combination of factors and not just one that led to a very sad and unnecessary end

      • M.A.F. says:

        @ PrincessK says “yes, but the pictures of the bedroom splattered with blood were taken by the police, so how did the Sun get hold of them and print them?”

        Same way TMZ get their photos – they pay someone.

    • Jellybean says:

      I think everyone needs to take a step back. It is easy to blame the CPS, but they did have a lot of evidence and they do have a duty of care to victims as well as possible perpetrators. You have a much younger victim with significantly less power, who knows how much, if any, pressure he was under to not press charges. Is anyone looking into the actions of her lawyers? Were they aware of her fragile condition and what were they doing to work with the CPS to make sure she was safe? The British tabloids are disgusting, but so are many online gossip sites and magazine. People of both genders are summarily convicted based on unsubstantiated claims. These things have to go to court to get through the noise and find the truth. I am not saying that the courts are perfect, but they are better than tabloid / online justice.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I truly don’t understand why the media and her management team have felt the need to come out and actually blame the CPS – they were doing what they are supposed to be doing.

        ITV have come out and said they offered her help but it was turned down after discussions between Caroline and her management team, saying she was getting help privately. Kinda makes you wonder if she really was.

      • Some chick says:

        Going to court can retraumatize the victim, even in a seemingly clear cut case.

        It’s not up to us to decide for him.

        If he doesn’t want to do it, why strip him of his agency?

        sincerely,

        A (FORMER) Domestic Abuse Victim

      • Amy Too says:

        Some chick, if they had enough evidence to press charges and take it to court without his cooperation and testimony then I think that would be why they pressed charges. I don’t think you can force a victim to testify, so maybe they weren’t going to use him, just the other evidence. Or are you saying that even that process could be retraumatizing for him seeing everything in the news?

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Some chick: Why do cases proceed even when the victim doesn’t want it? Because of what the system represents.

        Contrary to popular belief, prosecutors do not represent the victim in criminal matters. They represent the state (and by extension, the general public). They are charged with serving the PUBLIC good. And sometimes, that may conflict with the desires of the victim. However, even if a victim declines to cooperate, is it not still in the public interest to get a violent individual off the streets? Your argument is premised upon the older idea that domestic violence is a private matter, to be worked out between two people. All due respect, that is just not the view anymore. Domestic violence is now understood to be a matter of public concern and health. It ripples out past the two people involved. And we now try to treat it is such. But when you do that, you have to consider factors beyond the desires of the victim.

      • Lua says:

        Some Chick, if the victim doesn’t want to testify, but the court can go forward, they should. Just because one person survived doesn’t mean the next will. It is the responsibility of the court to protect future victims, not only current. You see a lot of these cases, the victim won’t participate, charges are dropped, the next victim ends up dead

  5. S808 says:

    There needs to be a complete overhaul in the media. Tabloids having this much power is absolutely ridiculous. People need to stop clicking their articles, it’s where they make the bulk of their money. Starve them out. There has to be other outlets that people can receive their news from.

    • Erinn says:

      The tabloids are out of hand but it sounds like she was abusive. And it REALLY is concerning that this article and posters are skimming over this part of the situation.

      The fact that the bf didn’t press charges means nothing. How many women defend their abusers. How many times do we hear about women refusing to press charges after being brutally attacked. It’s INCREDIBLY troubling that this is being defended on this site. And you know what? If that’s how she actually was as a human – an abusive prick – then I think it’s fantastic that the story wasn’t dropped.

      • Piggysarah says:

        Well said Erinn. The amount of articles I have read that trivialise the assault and call it a mistake. We don’t treat men the same 9/10 we decide they are guilty based on the same info we have seen about Caroline.
        We can acknowledge it’s horrible that she felt the only way out was suicide but we can also have concern about her troubled past.

      • S808 says:

        The story absolutely shouldn’t have been dropped bc what she did was appalling and I’m all here for actual investigative, factual reporting but a Valentine’s Day (from The Sun) card that jokes about the domestic violence that occurred? Where’s the journalism in that? And for me, this isn’t just about Flack. It’s about everyone these tabloids have chewed up and spit out. It’s ridiculous.

      • A says:

        Why does the fact that she was abusive mean that she doesn’t deserve compassion for how she was treated by the tabloid media?

        She was abusive. And she was abused by a gutter press. Those two facts don’t cancel each other out. Talking about one doesn’t automatically discount the other.

        The way the tabs treated her did a lot more to hurt the cause of abuse victims, especially male victims of domestic violence from female perpetrators. She was treated like a sideshow. They painted him as some type of weepy, overly-emotional little boy in the thrall of a cougar. People are still doing that, in fact. When the media favours disgusting, harmful, sexist narratives like these, instead of facts, they’re doing no one any favours whatsoever, and they should be held to account for that. The tabloid media was not interested in holding an abuser to account. They were interested in printing disgusting gossip and generating clicks. They did not treat this story or the events that happened with the due respect that it deserves. Just printing stories without any substance is not dogged reporting, or accountability, or justice in any sense whatsoever.

      • CherHorowitz says:

        Thank god I’m seeing some sensible comments. I’ve been wondering if I’m the crazy one the last couple days! You can simultaneously feel really sad for her family and friends, and feel really sad at the torment she must’ve been going through to take her own life, whilst also thinking it’s absolutely correct that they were prosecuting despite him asking them not to. Thank god we have a system that does proceed regardless, using other evidence instead of victim testimony. If it were a man we wouldn’t begrudge the media reporting it and the courts prosecuting!

    • PrincessK says:

      Yes, l think that changes should be made definitely.

  6. SM says:

    Tabloid media is UK is savage. The history speaks for itself, from Diana’s harassment to Jude Law, Sienna Miller or Hugh Grant taking media outlets to court for intervention into personal life and surveillance to the point they had paranoia, lost friends to Harry and Meghan giving up their titles and now suicide. There need to be some consequences already.

  7. Jessie says:

    I’m literally sitting at my desk listening to the BBC trying to twist her death as being the fault of social media and trolls, and reading the Daily Mail and The Sun trying to fob blame off the press. The spinning has already begun, it’s disgusting. Poor Caroline never stood a chance. 😞

    • Carrie says:

      Don’t buy the Daily Mail and the Sun. If people keep buying it they will keep printing their filth.

      • Lara says:

        It’s not the buying of tabloids that is the problem now, the amount of physical copies sold are minuscule. It’s the click bait titles that are the problem, so every time you click on their site you’re giving them money so the titles get more and more extreme, therefore putting more and more pressure on the people the stories are about.

    • Ella says:

      The tabloids and social media trolls are both to blame.

    • Jellybean says:

      The BBC is independent of the tabloids. These days tabloids are just fodder for keyboard warriors. Stories may start in the tabloids, but they spread through online opinion pieces and social media in general like an infection. There really is very little room for compassion and I don’t mean the compassion claimed aggressively by many of those with a cause, I mean genuine compassion for living, breathing, human beings.

      • Jessie Quinton says:

        I thought for a very long time the BBC were independent of the tabloids, but having to sit and listen to the Jeremy Vine show every day (I don’t control the office radio, sighhh….) I can tell there are some definite biases there in the organisation depending on what show you listen to and their audience demographic.

        Social media trolls definitely played a part in this, but they the press shouldn’t try to just shift them blame on to that when they have their part to play in this tragedy as well.

      • A says:

        The BBC is independent of tabloids? Really? So did I hallucinate them using a different tape of Boris Johnson to make him look better this past Remembrance Day? When the “reputable” press uses the same tactics as a tabloid to influence public perception, when they’re sworn to be neutral, especially with regards to politics, what do you call them?

  8. Anni says:

    She dated Prince Harry briefly, so this is being used as a top selling headline as well.
    Disgusting. I hope her family and bf can heal and that the press leaves them well enough alone, but I doubt it.

    Visit https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/suicide/ to find telephone numbers for help.

  9. Annie says:

    I used to live in Britain. To be honest I’ve always had the feeling Caroline Flack had issues with alcohol (I think she has spoken about this in interviews as well). Just an instinct after seeing tons of photos of her out drinking over the years, she had that look where she’s never quite sober – as well as being quite emotionally vulnerable. Heavy drinking in combination with mental health issues can make you do things to yourself and people around you (such as physical altercations, loss of a career, public embarrassment etc) which causes your life to spiral to the point where suicide feels like the only option.

    I’m not saying tabloid culture isn’t at all to blame here, they certainly helped push her over the edge, but the reasons behind a suicide are often quite complex and go way back.

    • Christin says:

      Not knowing very much about her, one of my first thoughts was whether she was thought to have substance issues.

      A very dear co-worker (one of the most charismatic, charming people I have ever known) ended his life following battles with mental health, alcohol and medication misuse that led to career issues. The tipping point of humiliation or bad news can cause a very sad, sudden decision.

    • Tourmailne says:

      Exactly.

  10. Becks1 says:

    This is such a tragedy. The British tabloids are appalling.

  11. farah says:

    It’s obviously very sad that she took her own life. She had her demons. The british tabloid is also very cruel as we all know but…

    “In December, Flack and Burton had a fight in their home ”

    This feels gross to write. They didn’t have a fight. She attacked him. Flack thought he had cheated on her, so she hit him over the head with lamp while he was sleeping. He called the police because he thought she was going to kill him.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      It was reported earlier today that she had actually self harmed and he called the police as he was concerned for her. She was treated for several hours at a hospital before it was decided that she was stable enough to be questioned under caution.

      There is so much back and forth on this over social media and I would trust the British press reporting as far as I could throw them, so who knows what is truth and what is lies. It should also be noted that she was sacked yet a drunk driving presenter on ITV that crashed into a family car that had children in it was offered full support by the same employer and had a pr team gently guide him back to his job. It stinks the two deeply troubled people were treated in such different ways by an employer all because one was a better financial bet for the channel.

      • Erinn says:

        It’s also not super unusual for abusers to threaten or go through with hurting themselves as a form of further emotionally manipulating their victims.

      • Tourmailne says:

        Well, in the December incident her boyfriend called 999 saying she was trying to kill him and had hit him in the head with a lamp while he was sleeping. Police said he had a significant head injury.

        All this stuff in the tabs now calling it a show trial and excoriating the Crown Prosecution Service and the police for pursuing the case is creepy IMO. I understand the boyfriend did not want the case to proceed but there can be good reason that these kinds of cases continue even in the face of that. Even if the accused is a troubled person.
        The other main target for tab excoriation is ITV for not letting her continue as presenter on Love Island after the incident.

      • Sarah says:

        ITV suspended her pending her trial for assault they didn’t sack her – the announcement was very much that she wouldn’t be taking part in this season of her show not permanently. The other itv presenter didn’t go straight back on tv either – he went to rehab and came back over a year later. They are not really analogous circumstances as we don’t know what itv would have done after her trial.

  12. Sarah says:

    The UK’s tabloids culture will never change I’m afraid. I’ve recently watched a documentary on the Hillsborough tragedy and read several articles on the media treatment of the victims and their families. The incident took place in April 1989, over 30 years ago, and nothing has changed in the media landscape. If anything, it has gotten worse.

  13. Originaltessa says:

    I don’t know who she is or anything about the truth of any of the stories, but it does seem clear that she was spiraling and in need of help that she did not receive. Very sad.

  14. K says:

    Heartbreaking.

  15. MellyMel says:

    I only know of her through Love Island, but this whole story is really sad. She clearly had some issues, but the British press, as we’ve seen time and time again, are truly horrible and vile. I hope she has some sort of peace now.

  16. Scal says:

    Nothing is ever all one thing or another. Do I believe based on everything that she assaulted her boyfriend? Yes. Do I also think the media and tabs dog piled on her as a woman accused of assault in a way that don’t do with male celebrities? Yes. Are those same tabs trying to whitewash their previous statements and trying to make CPS look bad? Yes.

    It’s a sad story all around, and not helped by the sun or the Mail.

  17. February Pisces says:

    My American friends might have only seen Caroline via the media and not on television where she shined. In the UK she presented some of the biggest tv shows like X factor and love island for ITV. She was very funny, bubbly and came cross as very lovable. I don’t think many people she worked with had a bad word to say about her. Anyway a lot of the outrage here is that when Caroline went through this assault allegations, she was basically ‘fired’ and ousted by ITV and then very harshly vilified in the media. I think the Sun splashed a picture on its front page of a bloodied mattress, implying that she did this to her boyfriend, when it was her blood from her own cut hand. The double standard here is that a year ago another Beloved ITV presenter Ant Mcpartlin got done for a drive driving accident, I think a child was involved. Anyway he had to go through a whole court case etc. ITV gave him a paid year off to work on his troubles, and he was also awarded with a National Televsion award too. Ant also dumped his wife of 25 years to get with his assistant and the press didn’t vilify him in the slightest. He basically has managed to continue as normal. If ITV and the press gave the same treatment to Caroline as they did Ant maybe this wouldn’t have happened. She was always pick on for something whether it was dating younger guys or being single, same things her male counterparts get away with.

    • Tourmailne says:

      Good points and no doubt to some extent the fact Ant is a man and Caroline a woman came into play on disparate responses from ITV and the media.
      Ant was bundled off to rehab. Would it have made any difference not just of course for Caroline personally, but for ITV and the media if Caroline had said after her assault charge, I am struggling (with alcohol, mental health, other) and am going to rehab to seek intensive help. Instead her response was defiant and that she had done nothing wrong and that her side of the story would come out. When she appeared in court in December the prosecution described police body cam footage that existed of the aftermath of the incident including her flipping a table and being restrained by police. No doubt that would have probably come out publicly just like the ‘bloody bed’ images and might have been something she was afraid she could never live down.

      • February Pisces says:

        It sounds like she probably had a complete break down and it was probably alcohol fuelled, and just exploded with rage. I think she should have been sent to a rehab facility and gotten treatment straight away. Given the job she had, your reputation is everything, and she was probably scared she would never work again.

    • Rosa says:

      @february And the fact that love island has not been cancelled, and the contestants haven’t even been informed about her death (apparently) leaves me head spinning! It’s just so …. i don’t know, dismissive of her, as you say in comparison to how other celebs at itv have been treated during scandals.

      • February Pisces says:

        Love island is the biggest programme on ITV2 ever. They will do everything they can to avoid that. ITV are notoriously slack when it comes to looking after its stars, especially those who are contestants. Like how many Xfactor contestants have spoken out about how they are basically tossed aside without a second thought after they are voted off the show. They build them up and promise them the whole world then tossed on the scrap heap. They give them no help on how to deal with fame etc. It must have a massive effect on their mental health.

    • Valois says:

      Caroline wasn’t fired from ITV. Laura presented the current LI season as a placeholder with Caroline being scheduled to appear in court. But they always emphasized this was a temporary solution- so much that some fans complained about ITV being too tolerant. Never agreed with that sentiment but it seemed obvious to me they were very much open to the idea of her returning, depending on the outcome of her trial

      • February Pisces says:

        I think it was more of a ‘please go quietly’ situation. I think they said she ‘chose’ to leave, as a soft exit, to limit any fuss. When Ant had his year off, and holly filled in for him on I’m a celebrity it’s was absolutely clear that it was just for that season, and she wasn’t taking over his job. I always hoped Caroline would go back for the summer season as this winter season isn’t the same without her.

  18. Case says:

    The British tabloids are absolutely brutal. I’m American, but I noticed how cruel they were when they kept attacking Tom Hiddleston – a good guy, by all accounts – for the Taylor Swift thing literally years after they dated. It was crazy to me how they just wouldn’t let it go and were so nasty about something pretty innocuous. And obviously, the way they treat Meghan Markle is racist and classist and disgusting. I’m not surprised they finally drove someone to suicide. This poor woman. So sorry for her friends and family. Just horrific.

  19. Chimney says:

    Britain seems like an increasingly nasty place these days. The British press endlessly hounds women who transgressed in their eyes but for the true monsters like pedo Andrew there’s nothing. It’s disgusting. Starting to realize that, even with all the rule following and salivating over tradition, Britain (or at least England) is truly depraved.

    It’s also worth noting that she is the third person from Love Island to commit suicide in like two years. I don’t know if anything nefarious is going on there but that show seems to eat people alive. RIP Caroline

  20. A says:

    The fact that she was a mess in her personal life is no reason for the tabloid media to treat her so appallingly.

    If the intention was to hold someone accountable for their actions, you do that by printing the truth. The actual truth. Not salacious gossip. The truth is how you do justice to the victims. The truth is how you do right by the world. And often times, when it comes to instances of abuse or assault, the truth is often enough, provided it’s published with the appropriate intention.

    The Sun did not print the truth about Caroline Flack. People who defend the tabloids saying, “We need a free press!” don’t seem to understand that a free press =/= a press that is free to lie. They chose to whip up a disgusting frenzy by resorting to the lowest common denominator, as always. Their intent was to be malicious, to be hateful, to engender such feelings in the minds of their readers. The blind rage they whip up is useless, if not actively harmful. But it is addictive. Giving insecure people the chance to stand on a moral pedestal and look down on their noses on all the “degenerates” in the world makes them feel better about themselves. People will pay good money to deflect and distract from their own insecurities and judge others in turn, if they have the chance.

    And the end game for these tabloids is not to make their targets go away. Their end game is to keep their targets around for continued target practice. They want these public figures to be there, to continue f-cking up, because it’s only when they f-ck up that their readership sticks around. People who want to feel better about themselves but don’t want to do the difficult work of constructing their own self-esteem will attempt to do it by tearing others down. When there’s no one left to tear down, they’re only left with themselves, and the last thing they’ll do is introspect on any level.

  21. Stephanie says:

    It’s coming out that she was worried about bodycam footage showing her in a vulnerable state being aired in court. Those cameras are degrading, and a serious intrusion on privacy when they go into people’s private homes, filming in them in whatever state of undress they’re in, however fragile their mental state. I would like to see a conversation start about getting them banned. Because, just for me at least, they would make me less likely to call for help until after I’d showered, dressed and done my make-up, and I can’t be the only one. You should never be deterred from calling for emergency help if you need it. Those cameras aren’t treating people with basic human dignity and respect.

    • Laur says:

      Those cameras are there for very good reason regardless of how embarrassing it might be for someone to have to see footage of themselves in some kind of state. They can provide vital evidence for trials and also hold police to account. It’s awful if the footage was the thing that tipped her over the edge but it’s the bigger picture that mattersI. E. How the press would treat her because of that, not the footage itself. There are much darker forces at play here that need tackling.

      • Stephanie says:

        The bigger picture is how many other lives will those cameras claim? Especially if they ever bring them in for paramedics, not just police. Human beings don’t always act in rational ways, there would be people who delay calling for help. It’s dangerous to strip people of their dignity like that.

  22. bettyrose says:

    I’m not familiar with her, but I’m sorry this happened to her. I’m also struck by how much she looks like Jennifer Lawrence, who’s probably 15 years her junior? Maybe it’s coincidence. Maybe it’s the same plastic surgeon. No judgement. I realize that’s what women in the biz have to do.

  23. Originaltessa says:

    I haven’t a clue who Lewis Burton is, but if there was one more I or me in his instagram “tribute” I might gag.

  24. Mia says:

    The victimization of Flack is a sight to behold. It is completely glossing over the fact that she went through her boyfriends cellphone without his permission. Like an abuser and controller, she then jumped to conclusions. The text messages she beat him over were innocent correspondence between the bf and a client. When he called 999 to report the crime, Flack tried to gaslight him and claim he ‘was ruining her life’.

    No. Her own abusive actions ruined her life. Her trying to basically murder him is what ruined her carefully crafted persona/ career.

    People can blame the media/trolls as much as she blamed the bf but there is a duty to report. Also keep in mind that many abusers who do commit suicide often do it in a final power play against their victims. I feel for the boyfriend who is likely blaming himself for everything.

    Flack has a history of abuse and going after younger men. Previous bfs signed NDA’s. People/ the media used to like laughing over her then 32 year old self grooming a 16 year old Harry Styles (who looked even younger if we are being honest). But if the roles had been reversed and this was a male celebrity, the general ‘woke’ public would not be nearly as sympathetic.

    That being said, I believe the traditional media went after her in a way they would not a male. But also as a black woman, I can see that she is being blatantly coddled and infantilized for her actions and treated as fragile in a way that only a white woman can be and benefit from.

    It is what it is. So while sexism will come up in the narrative, I know that the above racial aspect will be ignored and glossed over.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Thanks for this perspective. I’d never heard of her before today, but I do think women can be abusers too. It’s never okay, but it still hurts that men in power (especially white men) can get away with what no one else can. Also, while guns can even the playing field, most women abusers can’t be physically threatening like a man can. As is often the case with women, she did more damage to herself than her victims. I’m not excusing abuse in any form, but there is a difference.

    • Star says:

      1000% this. Hitting someone in the head with a lamp can extremely kill you. He could have died. Her death by suicide can be considered one final abusive act towards her boyfriend. I really feel for him and hope he has a good support network and that he comes out of this in time and finds a healthy relationship in the future.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Speculating here but I think alcohol abuse likely played a major role not just in the incident leading to the assault charge but in her life before. She made many statements over the years about using booze to cope with stress and problems and several statements that she was going to stop. Her image was as the fun drinking party girl. It is a little inexplicable to me from just a PR standpoint alone that she did not go straight to rehab after this event. It sounds like ITV wanted her to seek help but she rebuffed it. Her PR team coming out raging at the Crown Prosecution Service indicates their mindset.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Her management team also have to take some responsibility here – there are reasons why they’ve come out swinging against ITV and the CPS. ITV apparently offered her help and after consultation with her management team refused it, leading ITV to believe she was getting help privately. They did not give her the right support or advice and are trying to deflect from that.

        And yeah she was well known in the UK as a good time party girl always papped with a drink in her hand.

        The court case would have ended her career esp if the stories about the police body cam footage are true.