Caroline Flack was revealed to have taken her own life by a lawyer representing her family, this Sunday. It was claimed that the 40-year-old’s mental health had deteriorated amid court proceedings surrounding an alleged attack on 27-year-old boyfriend, Lewis Burton. But the true extent of the TV talent’s struggles stretch back further, with vile social media trolls taking swipes at everything from her weight to her looks.
The abuse exacerbated to such a point on November 22, 2015, that Flack bravely fought back with two tweets.
She wrote: “It’s very easy to take a shot at someone online. The vile comments about my weight and just all round look tonight are quite shocking.
“Have never said I’m the prettiest or thinnest or even anything special… But thank god I’m not horrible… Cool attitudes.”
Her online statements were collectively liked 5,500 times and received more than 800 retweets.
Caroline Flack, who tragically lost her life to suicide on Saturday, was the target of online trolls
Caroline Flack was found dead at the 40 years old
Supporters included, Twitter user Julie Jarvis, who wrote: “Caroline Flack, don’t you ever change, you are a breath of fresh air, you and Ollie are a triumph on X Factor. X.”
In addition to user Tasha, who added: “Babe you looked absolutely gorgeous, ignore the negativity… it’s spiteful jealousy! you always look beautiful.”
Celebrities, including singer Myleene Klass, also tried to empower Flack with further encouraging words.
She tweeted: “F*** em. You’re gorge, smart, talented. Q.E.D.”
READ MORE: Caroline Flack’s heartbreaking confession on relationships revealed
Tributes have poured in since the popular presenting talent passed away
By January last year, Flack would go onto share weight loss tips when she dropped from a size 12 to size eight.
At the time, she told the Daily Star that the abuse she suffered online led her to quit social media and left many friends concerned about her wellbeing.
Flack said: “It was really personal and horrible.
“It’s the personal things that hurt. As a female they pick on everything. Your hair, your dress, your weight.
“I did have a cry and Olly [Murs] gave me a big hug, bless him. I’ve had to learn to have thick skin but it doesn’t mean you can handle every bullet that is fired at you. Some of it really hurts.”
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The TV host came under scrutiny for her relationships and was also targeted by bullies online
Caroline Flack was the presenter of Love Island
In August last year, Flack revealed she was also under pressure to settle down, get married and have children.
The star had previously hit the headlines in the past for her relationships with Prince Harry and One Direction’s Harry Styles.
Speaking on the documentary All Woman, Flack said: “If you’re in your 30s, or your 40s or your 50s and you’re not settled down and you haven’t got kids and kind of, not wearing a twin set and pearls.
“They think that you’re unhappy in some way. I never had the desire to, I never had that fairytale ‘I wanna meet my prince and I want to settle down.’”
Despite expressing that she did not want to give into the expectation of others, Flack made a candid confession.
She said: “I’m scared it’s going to get too late, where I’ve wanted to go ‘Right, maybe I need to slow down, think about having kids and maybe think about settling down.’
“That’s never been wired into me. It’s really strange and I feel guilty for it sometimes.”
The concern over public scrutiny could also have played a factor in her decision to step down as the host of ITV reality hit Love Island in December.
Shortly after being charged with assault Caroline Flack stepped down from hosting Love Island
At the height of her victimisation, Caroline Flack confided in co-host Olly Murs
At the time, she stated that the decision was due to her upcoming trial after she pleaded not guilty to the assault of her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
She wrote: “Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it’s the best show on telly.
“In order to not detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is to stand down for Series 6.
“I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town.”
Caroline Flack hosted Love Island and The X Factor
Caroline Flack was in the midst of a court battle after allegedly assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton
It was claimed by Flack’s lawyer Paul Morris that Mr Burton “never supported” the allegations or charges and considered himself a “witness” rather than a “victim”.
A legal source told The Sun that Flack “should have been given urgent mental health treatment and psychiatric care,” rather than being prosecuted.
They said: “When the police arrived, both she and Lewis were intoxicated.
“Lewis had called police because he was very scared for Caroline.
“She was clearly emotionally distressed when the police arrived and she was covered in her own blood.”
Caroline Flack bravely battled the social media trolls who tried to take her down
Flack’s body was discovered on Sunday, February 15.
Mr Burton paid tribute to his partner in an Instagram post and stated that his “heart [was] broken”.
He continued: “I am so lost for words I am in so much pain I miss you so much I know you felt safe with me you always said I don’t think about anything else when I am with you and I was not allowed to be there this time I kept asking and asking.
“I will be your voice baby I promise I will ask all the questions you wanted and I will get all the answers nothing will bring you back but I will try make you proud everyday. I love you with all my heart.”
For confidential support call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.