Henry Wancke | 9th Mar 2020 | 0
London | Tragic death of ex-tennis pro’s girlfriend
© Hollie Adams/Getty Images
News over the weekend of the death of former Love Island presenter and 2015 Strictly Come Dancing winner Caroline Flack, who was found dead in her East London flat on 15 February 2020, brought tributes and criticism of the authorities and social media when it was confirmed that the 40-year old had taken her own life.
The news came two months after she stepped down as the host of Love Island and subsequent to her arrest over an alleged assault of her boyfriend, 27-year-old ex-tennis professional Lewis Burton.
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 Lewis Burton
She was subsequently charged with assault in December for the incident, to which Flack pleaded not guilty and she was released on bail with conditions that prevented her from having contact with Burton ahead of the trial on 4 March.
Flack’s death is the fourth to be linked to Love Island, after former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon took their own lives after appearing on the show, and Gradon’s boyfriend Aaron Armstrong was also found dead just days after her funeral.
Their deaths sparked a debate on the ethics of reality TV and the duty that broadcasters have to take care of competitors.
Flack was reportedly engaged to Burton, who reached a career-high combined junior ranking of 172 on the Juniors circuit in July 2010.
Along with George Morgan, he reached the final of the boys’ doubles at Wimbledon that same year.
Turning to Instagram, Burton posted a heartfelt tribute for his late girlfriend on Sunday, the day after she committed suicide.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
“I love you with all my heart,” he said ending the painful note.A Love Island highlights episode, due to be shown on ITV2 on the day of her death, was cancelled out of respect.
Lewis also re-posted a quote Caroline used on her own social media which read: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind,” adding, “I will love you forever.”
Tributes continue to be paid to her from fans, former Love Island contestants and celebrities as her family requested ‘privacy at this difficult time’.