Fans and loved ones of "Love Island" host Caroline Flack are speaking out as they mourn her unexpected death.
Flack's boyfriend, former pro tennis player Lewis Burton, shared a photo of himself with Flack on Instagram and wrote that his "heart is broken."
"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 wrote. "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 [to] make you proud everyday."
Flack and Burton's relationship became the focus of heightened media scrutiny in the U.K. in December when Flack was charged by Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) with assaulting Burton.
The trial for Flack, who denied the charge, was due to start in March in London. She had not been allowed to have direct or indirect contact with Burton under the conditions of her bail, according to the CPS.
Burton objected to that bail condition and also did not want prosecutors to move forward with the trial, according to the AP.
The CPS said in a statement, “Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of Caroline Flack. Given the tragic circumstances, we will not comment on the specifics of this case at this stage.”
Flack was removed as host of "Love Island" -- a reality show that places single people together in a villa on a tropical island -- in the wake of her legal troubles. The show faced scrutiny last year after two former contestants also died by suicide, according to The New York Times.
Laura Whitmore, who replaced Flack as host on "Love Island," called out the media and social media trolls in an emotional statement on her BBC Radio show Sunday.
“To the newspapers who create clickbait, who demonize and tear down success. We've had enough," she said. "I've seen journalists and Twitter warriors talk about this tragedy and they themselves have twisted what the truth is. You don't have to tear someone down to feel good about yourself."
"Your words affect people," Whitmore said. "To paparazzi and tabloids looking for a cheap sell, to trolls hiding behind a keyboard, enough."
Laura Whitmore pays emotional tribute to friend #CarolineFlackFebruary 16, 2020
Flack’s reality show background and past relationships with celebrities including Prince Harry and Harry Styles kept her in the tabloids.
She wrote about the intense media scrutiny she faced more recently in a Dec. 24 Instagram post wishing her followers a Happy Christmas.
"Been advised not to go on social media ... but I wanted to say happy Christmas to everyone who has been so incredibly kind to me this year.....," she captioned a photo of herself.
"[T]his 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," she wrote. "I’m taking some time out to get feeling better and learn some lessons from situations I’ve got myself into to.I have nothing but love to give and best wishes for everyone."
Some of the British media, already under fire for their treatment of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, have faced renewed criticism in the wake of Flack's death.
Hashtags emerged on Twitter asking people to no longer buy prominent U.K. tabloids including The Sun and The Mail.
Let’s put pressure on the press to start seeking TRUTH and stop spreading hate and lies. A concerted boycott will help including not sharing clickbait online content ever. Celebs should refuse interviews. #dontbuythesun #dontbuythemail #donbuythetelegraph #DontbuyLies https://t.co/SVfqqeug4S— Pilar Gomez #FBPE #stilleuropean (@redalphababe) February 17, 2020
Whoever there is to blame about the #CarolineFlack tragedy, there’s issues that concern me a lot.
•Social media isn’t policed enough!
•Trolls think, cos you’re rich & famous, abuse doesn’t effect you!
•Media with agendas, can just get away with anything.
The World Is 🤬— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) February 16, 2020
"Every twist and turn of her private life was relentlessly followed by the British tabloids," ABC News royal contributor Omid Scobie said of Flack. "The stories in certain areas of the British press were particularly negative and fed in to the toxicity on social media, where people were almost enabled by the coverage to throw abuse and negative comments towards Caroline."
"It's not just a conversation about British tabloids but also mob culture on social media and how the tabloids can feed into that. Everything goes hand in hand," added Scobie, also a former editor of Us Weekly magazine.
Some social media users called for people to be kinder in their comments both online and off. Scobie was among those also speaking out on Twitter on the need to move past today's "cancel culture."
It’s time society had a serious conversation about the toxic nature of cancel culture on social media. People no longer get a chance to defend themselves — instead it’s just a stream of hate and rush to demonise until the target is broken. Please think before you tweet. Be kind.— Omid Scobie (@scobie) February 15, 2020
Can't believe Caroline Flack died. No matter what has happened. People should think before they attack people on Twitter and Instagram. I remember when she presented the Xtra Factor with Olly Murs and of course the XFactor in 2015 with Olly. RIP #CarolineFlack pic.twitter.com/jqJbyKz36e— Emily Severn (@emilyxoxsevern) February 15, 2020
Hundreds of thousands of people also signed online petitions calling on elected officials in the U.K. to enact legislation that would better protect people in the public eye.
"I think it shows just how strongly the global public feels about this and also just how out of touch some of the tabloids are with what readers actually want to consume," said Scobie. "There’s clearly an appetite for something much healthier out there and I think it’s time old habits are looked at and analyzed."
One U.K. media outlet, Hello! Magazine, tried to change the online culture last year with its #HelloToKindness campaign.
The magazine launched the campaign to "champion positivity online" in the wake of a study that found female politicians and journalists, across both the U.S. and the U.K., were abused every 30 seconds on Twitter. Hello! also cited an increase in the negative comments posted on its own social media channels, specifically around two other U.K. celebrities, Duchesses Kate and Meghan.
The campaign told readers to ask themselves three questions before posting a comment online: Is it friendly? Is it kind? Would you say it in real life?
DEEP BREATH: We made a video about something that is getting us down and we’re hoping you can help make it better:— Emily Nash (@emynash) January 28, 2019
Please watch, share, get in touch, post your own message and say #hellotokindness #nospaceforhate @hellomag pic.twitter.com/jWU6L2NfbH
After Flack's death, social media users used the hashtag #BeKind to remember her and call for change.
Love Island didn’t abuse anyone or bully them, that was the press and social media. I don’t usually post about things like this, but this weekends events are so sad but preventable it’s hard to not comment. Words really do cut deep 💔 please be kind. #Bekind #BeKinderOnline pic.twitter.com/krsIzLeL6J— Lauren Harrison (@LaurenH0911) February 17, 2020
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting SHARE to 741-741. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada) and The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. In the U.K. you can call the Samaritans helpline at 116 123 or visit the NHS website for more resources.