Louise Redknapp has paid an emotional tribute to Caroline Flack, one day after the former Love Island host took her own life aged 40.
Caroline died on Saturday at her new flat in Stoke Newington, London, hours after she was told she would face trial over the alleged assault of boyfriend Lewis Burton last year – while the producer friend who was staying with her went to the shops.
Former Eternal singer Louise, 45, revealed the pair became good friends after Caroline reached out to her when she was going through a tough time after the breakdown of her 19-year marriage to Jamie Redknapp in 2017.
Tribute: Louise Redknapp has paid an emotional tribute to Caroline Flack, one day after the former Love Island host took her own life aged 40
Louise wrote: ‘I’m not quite sure where to start with this it is so heartbreaking.
‘Caroline when things were tough for me and you were going through equally such a tough time you reached out to me and it was so nice to have someone that had been there and been through the same emotions and feelings as me even though different circumstances.
‘I always think it takes a certain soul to be able to reach out to someone who they don’t really know that well and speak from the heart but you did that for me and from that moment a close friendship was founded.
‘I feel so proud that I was someone that you felt you could trust and that you could speak to at any time about anything.
Best friends: Former Eternal singer Louise, 45, revealed the pair became good friends after Caroline reached out to her when she was going through a tough time after the breakdown of her 19-year marriage to Jamie Redknapp in 2017
‘I know what really mattered to you was being loved and being cared for and I just wish you could see how loved you were by so many people . You didn’t deserve any of this what has happened.
Louise praised Caroline for giving her the confidence to restart her music career after years out of the industry, and for empowering her during the journey.
She continued: ‘You were the kindest, brightest fun and sincere friend I’ve met in this industry. You turned up to every show I ever did coming back in to the industry you helped me believe I could go back and do something I never thought I could do again.
‘Whether it was a little DJ set, a west-end show or a music gig you were there being the brightest loudest biggest loyalest supporter.
‘We spoke often about the people we wanted to become about being strong women about not letting people hurt us about standing up for what we believe in and supporting each other.
She wrote: ‘Caroline when things were tough for me and you were going through equally such a tough time you reached out to me and it was so nice’
‘And i’m gonna do my best to be that person that you and I spoke about. I’m gonna try and do this for us for all the good things we said and the positive conversations we had you were an absolute star a nugget of gold.
‘I feel really lucky to have had you as a friend, you were the girl that everybody wanted to be friends with and be in your corner on a night out. We would always have so much fun.
‘I know this will be hard for everyone to come to terms with but all I can say is I will try and speak your messages, I will try and live by all the things that we spoke about and I will try to be your voice and best be person I can be for you . Caroline I was so proud to be your friend you were our girl!’
The post comes as it emerged on Sunday that Caroline had warned police she would take her own life.
There for you: Louise praised Caroline for giving her the confidence to restart her music career after years out of the industry, and for empowering her during the journey
The star was taking anti-depressants as she battled mental health problems and was terrified of the prospect of her upcoming trial.
It was claimed yesterday paramedics had been sent to her home the day before she was found dead, following fears for her welfare, but she was not taken to hospital.
The distraught TV presenter was understood to be horrified by the prospect of a ‘show trial’ over an alleged assault on her boyfriend and was worried she could not cope with the fallout.
Friends said she was tormented over the idea of a jury being shown police ‘body cam’ footage taken during the night she was accused of attacking Lewis Burton, 27. She had hope the trial would not go ahead.
A court had heard police found the pair covered in blood and that Miss Flack had cuts to her wrist. The revelations about her mental health prompted questions about whether she was given enough help to tackle her depression and panic attacks.
The footage was alleged to have shown the presenter is a state of distress and undress.
Career resurgence: Louise and Jamie are pictured at the Brit Awards in 2016
On the night of her arrest it was also reported that police had been concerned about ‘deep self inflicted wounds’ and Flack had been taken to hospital for urgent treatment.
It was reported that Flack had been treated for 12 hours before she was deemed fit enough to be interviewed by officers under caution.
Police last night refused to reveal if they had referred the star to mental health services. As stars paid tribute to the Love Island presenter, friends asked if prosecutors, medical professionals and her former bosses at ITV had missed chances to save her.
ITV cancelled scheduled Love Island episodes over the weekend but said the show would return tonight with a tribute to Miss Flack, who presented five series before stepping back following her arrest. In other developments:
Statement: On Sunday ITV released the above statement which said that Love Island would return on Monday night and will include a tribute to the former presenter
Host: Flack is pictured above in a promo shot for the 2019 series. She had previously presented ITV show Love Island. It was announced tonight that the show would not air on Sunday
It also emerged earlier on Sunday that paramedics were scrambled to Flack’s north London home the day before she killed herself – but didn’t take her to hospital after a clinical assessment.
Sources told MailOnline that ambulance crews were sent to the former Love Island presenter’s Stoke Newington flat over ‘concerns for her welfare’, but decided against taking her to hospital after checking her over.
An ITV spokesperson this evening said: ‘Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection. All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.
Tribute: Caroline’s boyfriend Lewis Burton posted an emotional tribute on Instagram this morning following the news of her death on Saturday
Tragedy: He then re-posted a picture Flack uploaded to Instagram on December 5 that read: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind’, with the caption ‘I will love you forever’
‘After careful consultation between Caroline’s representatives and the Love Island production team and given how close we still are to the news of Caroline’s tragic death we have decided not to broadcast tonight’s Love Island out of respect for Caroline’s family. Love Island will return tomorrow night which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts.’
ITV and Love Island producers had previously come under scrutiny for the aftercare given to contestants of the Love Island show.
Love Island is rocked by THIRD death tragedy that could spell the end for controversial ITV2 reality show
Caroline Flack’s tragic death could lead to ITV bosses pulling the plug on Love Island after she became the third person associated with the show to take their own life.
The hugely popular money-spinner had already been under intense scrutiny following the suicides of former contestants Sophie Gradon, 32, and Mike Thalassitis, 26, prompting calls for producers to take more care of its stars.
Flack’s death will reignite concerns over the support that the broadcaster shows to those suffering mental health problems and the perceived lack of support provided by production bosses.
‘ITV talk about duty of care but there was little to no support for her,’ a source close to Flack told The Sun.
‘She went from hosting one of the most popular shows on TV to be effectively cast out.’
Following the tragic news, ITV pulled last night’s highlights episode of Love Island: Unseen Bits that was due to air at 9pm on ITV2.
The programme announcer said: ‘In light of today’s sad news we’re replacing tonight’s episode of Love Island: Unseen Bits with a double bill of You’ve Been Framed.’
However it has not known whether Love Island will air tomorrow night as scheduled.
Reality shows have been warned by Ofcom that they have a duty of care towards their stars.
Contestant Joe Swash, who worked with Caroline on ITV2 show I’m a Celebrity: Extra Camp had shared his own tribute just hours earlier, admitted it had been a ‘tough day’ preparing for his routine after learning of her death.
Professional skate partner Alexandra Murphy added: ‘It was really hard to do this and do a happy number when he feels like this so I’m really proud of him.’
With wife Stacey Solomon supporting her husband from the studio audience, he said: ‘I just want to send my love to her family and my condolences.’
Caroline took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving her alone at her London flat.
The producer friend couldn’t get back into the flat when she returned.
She called Flack’s father Ian who gained entry to the flat where he found the star’s body.
Her management team have since described her as ‘vulnerable’ and criticised the CPS for pushing ahead with a pending court case despite her boyfriend Lewis Burton saying he did not want to press charges.
He had said she hit him with a lamp at her former home in Islington in December and as part of her bail conditions the pair were banned from contacting each other.
Today Mr Burton shared a picture of the couple on holiday together on Instagram this morning, saying his ‘heart is broken’ and promising to ‘be her voice’.
Mr Burton’s post read today: ‘My heart is broken, we had something so special. 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.’
He then re-posted a picture Flack uploaded to Instagram on December 5 that read: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind’, with the caption ‘I will love you forever’.
Despite them being banned from contacting each other, Mr Burton posted a picture of the pair together on Friday with the caption: ‘Happy valentines’, with a red love heart on the end
Flack’s management team brand the CPS case a ‘show trial’ that was ‘not in the public interest’
Caroline Flack’s management said everyone was devastated at the news and criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for pressing ahead with her ‘show trial’ even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.
In a statement, Francis Ridley of Money Talent Management, said: ‘We are devastated at the loss of our client and friend Caroline Flack.
‘An immensely talented young woman who was at the top of her game professionally and loved by television viewers across the country. 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. Our thoughts are with Caroline’s family at this time.’
The news was confirmed by her family, who said in a statement yesterday: ‘We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February. We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.’
Today her best friend, TV producer Mollie Grosberg, posted a tribute to her, with a video of the pair at a climbing centre three days before she died.
She was today seen laying flowers outside her home and wrote on Instagram: ‘I can’t even find the right words to say here and I’m sure it sounds rambly but she deserves a million tributes and more.
‘Everyone remember her in the best way. Carrie always had a smile on her face, a naughty laugh and her heart open wide.
‘When she let you in, you were the luckiest and she taught me to love everyone and forgive everyone. She forgave so easily and loved so hard and I’ll never ever ever stop loving her.
‘Today feels like it’s not real and I wish it wasn’t. This girl was a force and always said the right thing, always made me feel safe and looked after even during her own shit. This is the worst pain I’ve ever felt and we all feel it.
‘This massive and painful and heartbreaking loss for all her friends and her incredible family. I hope we find peace with each other the way she has found it now. She brought us all together. I love you forever and always my baby girl.
‘I kissed your head yesterday and it was the last time and it was the most precious feeling. I love you forever and ever and ever.’
Caroline Flack: A cry for help?
Caroline Flack spoke often about her struggles, both in interviews and on social media.
Caroline said, following her Strictly success: ‘Fame doesn’t make you happy’
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 winner has said that she felt depressed following her victory on the BBC show.
After she won the series along with professional partner Pasha Kovalev, she admitted that she felt like she was ‘being held together by a piece of string which could snap at any time’.
In an unearthed interview cited by the Daily Star following her death, Caroline claimed that, ‘It all started the day after I won Strictly. I woke up and felt like somebody had covered my body in clingfilm. I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year.’
Ignored? ‘When I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining,’ Caroline admitted in October 201
‘BEING A BURDEN IS MY BIGGEST FEAR’
In an Instagram post she uploaded on 14 October 2019 – to mark World Mental Health Day – Caroline captioned a photo of herself: ‘Some days it’s hard to write your feelings of your not in the right place.
‘The last few weeks I’ve been in a really weird place… I find it hard to talk about it… I guess it’s anxiety and pressure of life… and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining.
‘I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear.’
Signs of suicide? She liked tweets about calling The Samaritans over Christmas
Caroline was told to stay off social media following her assault charge in December 2019.
However, she notably liked a string of tweets in the days afterwards, before Christmas, encouraging those feeling lonely over the holidays to seek help.
The tweets – posted by the likes of actress Sheridan Smith, journalist Stacey Dooley and comedian Luke Kempner – included the telephone number for The Samaritans’ suicide hotline.
She also posted to Instagram around the same time: ‘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.’
It was reported that Caroline had decided to write a book, during her recent time off.
‘Caroline has found the process incredibly cathartic,’ one of her friends told the Mail. ‘She wants it to be more than just a story about her. She wants to talk about the problems she’s encountered and how she’s overcome them.
‘She hopes to be able to help others who may be going through similar difficulties.’
Flowers were also seen outside her old house in Islington where she was arrested on suspicion of assaulting Mr Burton with a lamp.
The LAS said of the call made on Friday: ‘We were called shortly after 22:30 on 14 February to a residential property on Northwold Road, N16.
‘Crews attended and, following a clinical assessment, the person was not taken to hospital. Due to patient confidentiality we cannot comment further.’
Then of the one of Saturday: ‘Officers were made aware of concerns for welfare at a residential address in Stoke Newington at 2.31pm on Saturday.
‘Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and found an unresponsive woman inside the address. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Next of kin are aware. The death is being treated as non-suspicious. A file will be prepared for the Coroner.’
Today a blonde haired woman in a black jacket was seen arriving at the exclusive converted school where Flack took her own life and buzzing one of the flats there. After pulling up at the gated development in a black Audi, she left minutes later.
An eyewitness said of yesterday’s scenes: ‘I saw two men walk through the gates to the flats where Caroline Flack lived yesterday afternoon.
‘Both were crying and they hugged each other for support.
‘They were waiting for the police to turn up. They met the police and paramedics when they arrived and let them in.
‘I didn’t know what was going on at first. It was only when I read the news about Caroline Flack that I realised it must have been for her.’
A member of Flack’s management team last night said the CPS should ‘look at themselves’ in light of her death and claimed they were pursuing a trial against her ‘without merit’, which resulted in ‘significant distress to Caroline’.
In court it was heard that while under caution Flack said she would kill herself and that she said: ‘I did it’, when asked about striking her boyfriend.
The saga surrounding her court case saw her forced to ‘step down’ from hosting Love Island, which began its first ever winter series in South Africa at the beginning of the year and is now being hosted by Laura Whitmore.
The former presenter has been described by friends as feeling ‘on her own’ and that she ‘couldn’t see a way out’. They claim she was struggling with her mental health and using anti-depressants before her death.
Among Flack’s final Twitter likes was a post advertising suicide prevention services at Christmas, which read: ‘Hard time of year for a lot of folks. Suicide Hotline 116 123 (Samaritans) A simple copy and paste might save someone’s life. If you are struggling, please please talk to someone. XXX’
Her replacement on the show Laura Whitmore led tributes to Flack last night as she posted on Twitter, ‘I’m trying to find the words but I can’t’ next to a broken heart emoji and posted a poem about loss.
She began her Radio 5 Live radio show this morning with the words: ‘Be kind… It’s gone too far… your words affect people,’ as she fought back tears.
Whitmore described Flack as someone who was ‘bubbly’, ‘vivacious’ and had an ‘infectious chuckle’. She said she wasn’t perfect, but asked: ‘Is anyone?’
She added that all the star wanted was love, telling her listeners: ‘Caroline loved to love. That’s all she wanted.’
CAROLINE FLACK’S TURBULENT LOVE LIFE
Prince Harry, aged 34
Short fling? Caroline revealed she was introduced to Prince Harry by their mutual friend Natalie Pinkham in 2009
Close: Caroline candidly admitted she nearly slept with Olly Murs when they presented The Xtra Factor together in 2011
- Caroline revealed she was introduced to Prince Harry by their mutual friend Natalie Pinkham, a Formula One correspondent for Sky Sports
- Sparks flew when the pair enjoyed a night out a decade ago in 2009, shortly after Caroline had split from another ex
- She later penned in her book: ‘Once the story got out, that was it. We had to stop seeing each other
- ‘I was no longer Caroline Flack, TV presenter. I was Caroline Flack, Prince Harry’s bit of rough’
Olly Murs, aged 35
- Caroline candidly admitted she nearly slept with Olly when they presented The Xtra Factor together in 2011
- They shared a kiss as they toasted her Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Award with a private moment in the photobooth in November 2015
- The pair’s on-screen chemistry was all everyone could talk about when they hosted The Xtra Factor together from 2011 until 2012
- Rumours were swirling the pair were in the throes of love as they hosted The X Factor together in 2015 for a year
Former lover: Back in 2011, Caroline was 31 when she started romancing 17-year-old Harry Styles
Harry Styles, aged 25
- Back in 2011, Caroline was 31 when she started romancing 17-year-old Harry
- The television host admitted she knew the singer had a crush on her before she pursued a romance with the heartthrob
- She said of their brief fling in The Sun on Sunday: ‘I already knew that he had a crush on me, he’s made it pretty obvious as he’s said it in magazines. I’ve never felt I was much older than Harry. I still feel 18 and I probably act that way half the time’
Short-lived: The Love Island host caught music manager Jack Street’s eye when he was only 26 years old
Wedding bells: Caroline and Andrew Brady got engaged in April 2018 before calling it quits later that year
Jack Street, aged 31
- The Love Island host caught Jack’s eye when he was 26 years old
- Caroline and Jack’s love story goes back until 2014 and the couple dated happily for 18 months before their abrupt split.
- They briefly rekindled the flames of their love in 2015 but the damage couldn’t be repaired and they went their separate ways for good
Andrew Brady, aged 28
Smooch: In January, Caroline and Strictly dancer AJ Pritchard were pictured looking extremely cosy with during the National Television Awards’ after-party
- Caroline was 38 while Andrew was 27 when they first started dating
- The Love Island personality and the Apprentice star had a rocky on/off romance which had a heartbreaking end for the pair of them
- The couple got engaged in April 2018 after just a few weeks of dating but they separated from each other a numerous times last year
- Now Andrew has jetted off to Australia on a one-way ticket to get a fresh start in 2019 after they finally called it quits on their romance forever
- Caroline got rid of the final traces of her ex as she proudly showed off she had his initials ‘AB’ erased from her wrist
AJ Pritchard, aged 24
- In January, Caroline and the Strictly dancer were pictured looking extremely cosy with during the National Television Awards’ after-party
- Insiders at the bash claimed the duo moved around for some privacy before they were spotted in the alleged clinch behind the scenes
- The pair, who reportedly snogged during the star-studded bash at London’s O2 Arena, denied rumours of a romance despite their close display
Hunk: The presenter is said to have dated Danny Cipriani for around eight weeks earlier this year
Danny Cipriani, aged 31
- The presenter is said to have dated the sportsman, 31, for around eight weeks earlier this year
- They were were seen kissing after a two-night hotel stay back in April, but ended things shortly after as sources say Caroline feared there was no long-term future
- An insider previously said: ‘Caroline and Danny had a lot of fun together and she’s very fond of him – but long-term it wasn’t going to work’
- ‘They’ve decided to end it and stay friends. Caroline has a busy summer ahead of her and is already moving on by dating other people
Lewis Burton, aged 27
Love Island host Caroline Flack pictured with Lewis Burton
- The tennis player and actor is said to have started dating Caroline Flack in July last year
- A restraining order prevented the pair from contacting each other. It was made after Flack was accused of hitting Burton over the head with a lamp at her former home in Islington
- He posted a Valentines message yesterday saying he loved her and last night he is understood to be flying back from a skiing holiday
- The pair have been pictured on numerous nights out and holidays since going public about their relationship in August 2019
- Flack was spotted being furious with Lewis on a trip to Ibiza in October 2019