In the midst of public assault trial, former U.K. ‘Love Island’ host Caroline Flack found dead
Caroline Flack, the longtime host of the U.K. reality show “Love Island,” died Saturday at the age of 40.
In a statement to PA Media, a U.K. and Irish news agency, Flack’s family confirmed her death and requested that “the press both respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.”
No cause of death was given.
Flack was in the midst of a public court trial stemming from a Dec. 12 incident at her London home during which prosecutors said she assaulted her boyfriend, tennis player Lewis Burton. Flack, who denied the charge, was set to make her next court appearance March 4.
Within a week of the alleged assault, Flack said she would step down as the host of Season 6 of “Love Island” so as “not to distract attention” from the series, which is currently airing on ITV2. She was replaced by Irish presenter Laura Whitmore.
In a statement released to The Times, an ITV spokesperson said that “Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news. Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”
Flack began hosting “Love Island” in 2015, becoming a fixture on the reality show in which singles move into an exotic villa and couple up in the hopes of leaving with a romantic partner. Prior to “Love Island,” she had appeared on other British reality shows including “The Xtra Factor,” “Loose Women” and “Strictly Come Dancing.”
On her social media accounts, Flack had made it clear that the scrutiny surrounding the assault charges was proving difficult for her to handle. On Dec. 24, she posted on her Instagram that “this kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot to take on for one person to take on their own... I’m a human being at the end of the day and I’m not going to be silenced when I have a story to tell and a life to keep going with.”
Following news of her death Saturday, a number of celebrities spoke out on Twitter, implying that the way the British media treated Flack in the wake of the allegations was somehow related to her death.
“It was only a matter of time before the media and a prolonged social media dogpile, hers lasted for MONTHS, pushed someone completely over the edge,” wrote Jameela Jamil, “The Good Place” actress who herself was once a U.K. TV host.
“Our ‘cancel’ culture is brutal,” added BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker. “We all have demons and flaws but we dehumanise each other & are then surprised when it all becomes too much for some.”
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