British TV presenter Caroline Flack ended her life after hearing she was definitely going to be prosecuted for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend and feared press intrusion, a coroner ruled.
The former “Love Island” host died in February while awaiting trial for alleged assault.
Her death set off an intense debate about press standards, social media abuse and the safeguarding of reality TV stars in the United Kingdom.
Coroner Mary Hassell said on Thursday that the way the case “played out in the national press” was “incredibly difficult for her,” and that Flack feared the loss of her career.
“Although her general fluctuating (mental) state was a background and important in her death, 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,” Hassell said, returning a determination of suicide at Poplar Coroner’s Court, in London.
She had discovered prosecutors were going ahead with the case the day before her suicide. Friends say Flack had believed the case would be dropped.
Prosecutor Kate Weiss cited various factors for pressing ahead, including the violence involved, that her boyfriend Lewis Burton was sleeping, that a caution is rare for a domestic violence case, and that police said Flack showed no remorse in interview.
Flack had pleaded not guilty to assaulting Burton, her 27-year-old boyfriend. She was out on bail awaiting trial scheduled for March, and was replaced as host of “Love Island” a few days after her arrest.
As a host of “Love Island” since its inception in 2015, she was one of Britain’s most well-known celebrities.