Caroline Flack’s mental health problems increased the more famous she got, coroner finds

Sophie Gallagher
·2 mins read
Caroline Flack's tragic death highlighted an extreme example of tough times made utterly miserable by trolls: Getty
Caroline Flack's tragic death highlighted an extreme example of tough times made utterly miserable by trolls: Getty

Caroline Flack suffered increasingly from mental health problems as her fame and career grew, a coroner said on Thursday.

Coroner Mary Hassell, who has been leading the inquest into Flack’s death in February this year, said that the former Love Island host had a history of “fluctuating” mental health.

But Hassell said her mental state deteriorated as she spent more time in the spotlight. “She had had difficulties,” said Hassell.

“In spite of the fact she may have led – to some – a charmed life, actually the more famous she got, the more some of these difficulties increased – she had to deal with the media in a way most of us don’t.”

This was particularly pronounced following coverage of Flack’s arrest and charge of assault by beating. On 23 December Flack pleaded not guilty to assault at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court. A trial was due to begin on 4 March.

On 15 February Flack was found at her home; the 40-year-old had died by suicide.

The previous day she had met with her lawyers who confirmed the assault trial had not been dropped despite their application to have it thrown out.

Hassell said that the events playing out in the press was “incredibly difficult” for Flack and that she faced the “prospect of not working in the job she loved, losing a great deal”.

Flack was formerly the host of ITV’s Love Island but she stepped down from the role after the charges were made against her in December.

Hassell continued: “I find the reason for her taking her life was she now knew she was being prosecuted for certainty, and she knew she would face the media, press, publicity – it would all come down upon her."

Flack’s mother, Chris Flack, who was watching proceedings via video link, told the coroner she “totally” agreed with the determination.

"I think you got it spot on," she said. “We know you are not allowed to say certain things and it’s up to us if we want to take it any further, and we don’t.”

A psychiatrist who also examined Flack after her arrest in December 2019 said he had concerns regarding the likely impact of the ongoing court case on her mental state. She had also attempted suicide in the months before her death.

Thursday 6 August was the second day of the inquest at Poplar Crown Court, which reopened on 5 August.

Her family, including her mother and her twin sister Jodie have repeatedly said they believed that Flack was treated unfairly because of her public position.

You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year.

You can also contact Samaritans by emailing jo@samaritans.org. The average response time is 24 hours

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